The Great Debate UK
- Dr. Shelley Ross is Secretary-General of the Medical Women’s International Association, a non-governmental organisation representing women doctors from all continents. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.-
The theme that the United Nations has chosen for the 2010 International Women’s Day is “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All.” What does this mean to women in medicine?
Certainly in the developed world, women have realized equal rights and opportunities in being admitted to medical schools. In many schools, more than 50 percent of the student population is female. Even in the developing world, we are seeing more women as medical students. These increasing numbers have pushed the social envelope where it is now acceptable to talk about balancing work and home lives.
Even beyond medical school, into residency training, there are opportunities for balancing life. Part time residencies, shared residency positions, and financial compensation for maternity leave during residency are but some examples of wishes that have become reality.
- Shelley Ross is secretary general of the Medical Women’s International Association, a non-governmental organisation representing women doctors from all continents. The opinions expressed are her own. -
The Medical Women’s International Association was created in 1919, not long after the first International Women’s Day in 1911. MWIA’s founder was an American by the name of Dr. Esther Pohl Lovejoy, who served as its first president. She was an obstetrician by training but an activist and humanitarian by action. Not only did she establish MWIA but she also founded the American Women’s Hospital Service during the First World War.