Women in Medicine and Science at UF Health Jacksonville, the University of Florida’s academic health center, was started two years ago under the leadership of Madeline Joseph, MD, associate dean for inclusion and equity and professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics. Several women faculty have been instrumental in co-chairing the various committees and many of the senior women faculty on the Advisory Council have helped in moving initiatives forward.
“The real success in any infrastructure is when the team members are excited and engaged in addressing challenges to ensure an inclusive culture where everyone can achieve their best,” said Joseph.
This year, Women in Medicine and Science members are gearing up for the second annual event. Since the initiative launched in 2021, WIMS leaders have worked to build and improve the infrastructure for women faculty to thrive on the UF Health Jacksonville campus.
Working to address the challenges
At the start of the academic year, WIMS leaders went to work, developing a task force to identify and create solutions for the challenges female faculty may face.
“We have conducted focus groups and listening sessions made up of both male and female faculty to better understand the underlying causes of retention and well-being,” said Melissa Parsons, MD, an associate professor of emergency medicine, assistant program director for the emergency medicine residency and WIMS co-chair.
The group shared best practices that increase employee satisfaction and retention, such as:
- Encouragement and support for promotion within departments
- Public acknowledgment
- Respectful and equitable treatment
- Equitable pay
- Career development and leadership
- Flexibility in work-life integration
- Processes for problem-solving
Many items listed were already being implemented on the Jacksonville campus.
“Our work has not only allowed us to develop recommendations but also to foster relationships between junior and senior faculty,” said Mariam Louis, MD, an associate professor of medicine, medical director of the sleep lab and WIMS co-chair. “This has sparked mentorships and vital avenues of support for faculty, residents, pharmacy and nursing students as we raise awareness to women’s challenges.”
Expanding our reach
The WIMS Conference 2023 will not only be open to faculty but also to the Duval County Medical Society, which promotes physicians in Duval County through education, advocacy, health care quality and operational excellence.
“We are learning that networking and collaboration is so critical,” said Madeline Joseph, MD, associate dean for equity and inclusion and a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville. “Sharing with women physicians, researchers and educators across the city and county helps us identify how we all can improve as members of the health care system. This collaboration helps us do what we do best — deliver high-quality patient care.”
“Be the CEO of Your Career: Turning Your Intellectual Capital into Career Capital,” is this year’s theme. Participants will attend sessions featuring national speakers such as Anees Chagpar, MD, professor of surgery at Yale University, and Janet Bickel, MA, leadership and career development coach.
A member of UF Health Training and Development will teach a session on time management.
“Even though we are Women in Medicine and Science, we don’t work in isolation and it takes the partnership of male faculty to accomplish these things,” said Louis. “We love to include our male faculty here and are very fortunate to have their support.”
How to register:
Registration is required for the 2023 WIMS Conference. Visit the IDEA webpage for more details.
2022 WIMS Honorees
WIMS Medical Trainee Award — Jessica Ramos, DO, department of emergency medicine
WIMS Early Career Faculty Award — Rana Alissa, MD, department of pediatrics
WIMS Mid-Career Faculty Award — Amie Hoefnagel, MD, department of anesthesiology
WIMS Distinguished Faculty Award — Kelly Gray-Eurom, MD, department of emergency medicine
Gender Equity Service Award — Leigh Neumayer, MD, department of surgery