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Why We Need to Keep Women In Medicine

Women in medicine

The healthcare industry depends on women. They are our scientists, clinical researchers, and frontline caregivers. During the pandemic, nurses and doctors have been putting their own personal safety at risk. But women are leaving the industry in unprecedented numbers. That’s why the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) has launched a campaign, Give Her a Reason to Stay, to uplift women in healthcare. This cause is critical to the future of healthcare in the U.S. As the AMWA points out, women make up the majority of frontline healthcare workers. That means women leaving the industry will have a significant impact on patient care and the advancement of medical research. 

Why Need to #GiveHerAReasonToStay in the Healthcare Industry

The AMWA provides some compelling reasons why women are leaving the industry. Compared to their male colleagues, women:

  • Were the majority of frontline health workers during the pandemic and had higher rates of Covid-19 infection. This is no surprise — 77 percent of the healthcare professionals who have had direct contact with patients during the pandemic are women. 
  • Are not paid or promoted equitably and report high rates of sexual harassment at work.
  • Are encouraged to take on “citizenship” duties at work and are “voluntold” to serve on committees and engage in other unpaid work.
  • Continue to have more responsibilities at home for childcare and eldercare.

This situation is unacceptable, and these inequalities will hurt the entire healthcare industry.

Related: Caring For The Caregivers During a Pandemic

What can be done? Plenty.

What You Can Do

First, the AMWA encourages people to post supportive messages on social media throughout September using the hashtags #GiveHerAReasonToStay and #WomenInMedicine to spread awareness. Here’s a compelling message from Amy Linsin, Chief Human Resources Officer, Prisma Health:

“Women are essential to the care we deliver across Prisma Health. We are grateful for the frontline doctors, nurses, and all providers who have continued to be dedicated to caring despite the challenges we continue to face.” 

The campaign organizers also suggest supporting women in healthcare with positive reviews of their performance. Think about a woman who was there for you or a loved one. Then craft a review. Be as specific as you can, and mention their name to make it personal. Did they go the extra mile? What made their care special? 

  • Most physicians and advanced practitioners have a Google My Business page where you can post a review. Their page is just a quick Google search away.  
  • For nurses, you can post a review to the healthcare brand or location’s Google My Business page, Facebook, or other social accounts – and remember to mention the person by name so that the organization knows who was there for you.
  • Reach out to the provider personally – via email or your healthcare provider portal, so that there is a record of the service you received.

Take a moment to thank a caregiver who has been there for you and your loved ones— #GiveHerAReasonToStay in the healthcare industry. 

Keep Reading: The Millennial Impact on Healthcare