How Female Physicians are Preparing for the Bright Future Ahead
- Article by:Health Career Center
For as long as many of us can remember, physicians’ place in America has been viewed as something of a “good old boys’ club.”
The statistics certainly support the perception. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), men made up 68 percent of the physician population as recently as 2013.
However, the AAMC’s most recent data shows that change is coming very soon. Right now 47 percent of current medical students are women, along with 46 percent of residents. That points toward a significant uptick in the number of female physicians over the next few years.
Whether you’re already a physician or considering becoming one, how can you capitalize on the promising future that lies ahead for female doctors? Here are a few tips — along with stories from women who have helped pave the way.
1. Never give up on your dream
We all come from different backgrounds, and some of us face more roadblocks than others on the path to achieving our goals.
Karina Henriquez, a woman born in the Dominican Republic, serves as a shining example. After finishing her residency in her home country, she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a physician in the U.S. There was just one problem: she would have to undertake a whole new residency in the states to qualify.
The thought of starting all over again was almost unthinkable, but she applied for U.S. residencies anyway. After a few years and a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, she’s now a respected sleep medicine doctor in America.
2. Think big from the beginning
Hard work doesn’t guarantee success. If you want to reach the top of your profession, you need to have a road map for how to get there.
Take it from Omega C. Logan Silva, MD. Though she’s now retired, she was once the assistant chief of the metabolic section and diabetic clinic at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. As she sees it, having a plan was key to her success.
“Find out what the requirements are to go to the next step… immediately when you come in,” Dr. Silva said. “Don’t wait until you think you should be ready to go on to that next step.”
3. Open your mind to new opportunities
In many physicians’ best-case scenarios, they’ll experience enough success that they’re able to open a private practice. But for Norma Jo Waxman, MD, the dream of having her own practice turned out to be a nightmare.
“I started out thinking that I would be able to have more time and control of my life,” she said. “And it wound up that I had no time, working to 9 and 10 at night.”
Before long, Waxman went on sabbatical and is now considering a part-time position primary clinic. Her advice? Keep your options open, and don’t sacrifice your own happiness for success.
If you’re a woman who is currently searching for physician openings, get started now at HealthCareerCenter.com. Our site features thousands of positions with the country’s leading health systems.
Who knows, your bright future could be just a few clicks away.
The information in this article originally appeared on the Association for Staff & Physician Recruiters (ASPR) website. To read the original article, click here.