Monday, November 23, 2020

The Gender Gap in Medical Leadership: Glass Ceiling, Domestic Tethers, or Both?

Image credit: Pexels
Authors: Eveline Hitti, MD MBA FAAEM
Originally published: Common Sense
May/June 2017

The number of women enrolled in medical schools has risen from less than 25% in the 1970s to over 47% today.1,2 In spite of this, we continue to see striking under-representation of women in leadership positions in academic medicine, professional organizations, and health services in general. Women comprise only 38% of full-time faculty, 21% of full professors, and 30% of new tenures in academic medicine. Only 18% of hospital CEOs are women, and the percentage of female department chairs and deans at US medical schools remains low, at 15% and 16% respectively.2,3 This leadership gap is not unique to medicine. It mirrors trends in law, where women continue to constitute a disproportionate minority of partners within firms; and business, where women are less likely than men to hold corporate executive positions. In the past this discrepancy could be explained by a higher percentage of male medical and professional school graduates. Yet today, when the percentage of females in medical school, law school, and business school equals or exceeds the percentage of males, a significant leadership gap persists.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

From Chaos to Clarity: Leadership in the Resuscitation Bay

Image credit: Pexels
Author: Mary Haas, MD
Originally published: Common Sense
November/December 2016

You are managing a busy emergency department, when you hear via the overhead paging system that a new patient has arrived in your resuscitation bay. You scurry from the farthest corner of your department, where you were evaluating a patient with multiple chronic medical problems and multiple complaints. As you book it to the resuscitation bay, you carry the weight of several sick patients you are managing and the knowledge of several on stretchers waiting to be seen, not to mention the full waiting room. You arrive at the resuscitation bay, where a group of people are bustling around as if a storm is about to hit. You see the ambulance pull up to the doorway with lights flashing. In this moment, as leader of the resuscitation, you have the responsibility to transform chaos into clarity.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Meditation in Medicine

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Author: Puja Gopal, MD
University of Illinois College of Medicine
This post was peer reviewed.
Click to learn more.

Recently when watching the evening news, I came across an interesting segment focusing on how teaching meditation in middle and high schools in San Francisco has led to many positive measurable changes. School officials have noted better attendance, better academic performance, and at least a 75 percent decrease in suspensions over a period of four years.

Meditation and relaxation techniques have garnered a lot of attention lately and have become the focus of much research. A brief literature overview on the potential impact meditation can have, especially in the field of emergency medicine, follows below. For emergency physicians, who operate in high-stress environments; attend to multiple tasks, often simultaneously; and must manage 'the busy pit', overall wellness becomes especially important. Wellness is reflected in one's even mindedness and control during high stress situations such as coding patients; one’s focus and concentration during shifts of high volume; and one’s resiliency, especially after bad outcomes. Stress reduction techniques are thus essential to maintain wellness and happiness and avoid burn-out.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Open Door

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Author: Lauren Lamparter – Medical Student Council President
Originally published: Common Sense
September/October 2020

One of the reasons I am drawn to and pursuing a career in emergency medicine is its open-door policy — all are welcome, regardless of their ability to pay, the color of their skin, their legal status, or their sexual orientation. The emergency department (ED) is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to serve those in need, no matter their ailment or chief complaint. It is a place where there should be no discrimination based on race, religion, insurance status, or gender. All are welcome and will be taken care of with the priority of receiving the best care we can possibly give. I aspire to be an emergency medicine physician so I too can be a champion of health for all; someone who can set aside my implicit biases and provide for a fellow human who is in need of help.