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New initiative aims to help women in medicine ‘gain equal access to the table’

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September 21, 2022

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CHICAGO — Two speakers at the Women in Medicine Summit announced an effort to lift up other women and reach “an equal playing field.”

During their interactive closing keynote address, Rebekah E. Gee, MD, an OB/GYN and clinical associate professor at Louisiana State University and CEO of Nest Health, and Kavita K. Patel, MD, MSHS, a primary care physician at Mary’s Center in Washington, D.C., and former director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, discussed “Majority Rules,” an initiative that Gee said “is about the fact that we are disappointed that we are not as women on an equal playing field, nor do we have equal seats in leadership as men.”

“We think because we are the majority of the population in this country — we are the majority of medical students, we are the majority of entering doctors — that we can quickly change that if we play by different rules,” Gee told Healio.

Majority Rules focuses on three key initiatives: pay equity, promotions and friendships.

“We need to be paid equally to men. We know that women make 73 cents on the dollar over the course of our careers … and that is unacceptable,” she said. “How do we change that? By … being transparent about salary and engaging in conversations about pay equity; ensuring that when we are hiring, that we pay equitably.”

Gee also said that women should help promote each other in the way that men do and “work together to help navigate the complicated web of how you succeed in health care.”

“We believe that friendships can also be strategic in terms of helping women gain equal access to the table, because we can invite each other in if one of us gets a seat there,” she said.

Reference:

Gee RE, Patel KK. Closing Keynote Address: Majority Rules. Presented at: Women in Medicine Summit; Sept. 16-17, 2022; Chicago (hybrid meeting).

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