Celebrating International Women's Day: Empowering Female Doctors

Female doctor

International Women's Day is a global celebration recognising women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. It's a day that holds particular significance in the medical field, where female doctors continue to make strides in breaking barriers, shaping healthcare policies, and providing compassionate care. In Australia and New Zealand, the journey towards gender equality in medicine has seen remarkable progress, yet challenges remain. This article highlights resources and support systems that empower female doctors in these countries.

"Even after I’ve introduced myself as a doctor I’m still often considered as a nurse. This is especially true for doctors in training, before they become a consultant or an independent practitioner." Dr Shan Shan Jing told Medworld.

Dr Charlotte Chambers described it as a “subtle but significant gender bias." She said these subtle biases mean those female doctors have to work harder. Despite significant advancements, female doctors often encounter unique challenges, including gender bias, work-life balance issues, and underrepresentation in leadership roles. Addressing these challenges requires a collective effort and access to supportive networks and resources.

Resources for female doctors

  • Australian Medical Women’s Federation (AFMW): The AFMW offers a supportive network for female physicians in Australia, advocating for gender equity in medicine and providing leadership opportunities, mentorship programs, and resources for professional development.

  • New Zealand Women In Medicine (NZWIM) Similar to AMWF, NZWIM is dedicated to supporting female doctors in New Zealand. It promotes women's health, offers networking opportunities, and supports female physicians at all career stages. This initiative provides a platform for female doctors to share experiences, seek advice, and support one another. It operates across social media and organises events and workshops tailored to the needs of women in medicine.

  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Women in Medicine: The RACP offers resources, policies, and programs to support female physicians in achieving work-life balance and overcoming professional hurdles.

  • The Royal Australasian College of Surgery The RACS ACS college is committed to expanding the number of women in surgical training and to ensuring the training programs do not disadvantage them.

  • The RACGP Doctors for Women in Rural Medicine (DWRM) This RACGP DWRM committee aims to elevate, empower and encourage women working in rural practice by working to identify and meet their unique interests, challenges and needs and empower them to reach their full professional capacity, in turn supporting rural communities.

  • Mental Health Services: We care about your wellbeing, and we know that you probably don't have that much time on your hands, so here is a list of some services which offer mental health and wellbeing support in Australia and New Zealand.

Empowerment through education and networking

Education, continuous learning, and networking are crucial for personal and professional growth. Female doctors are encouraged to engage in the following:

  • Continuing medical education (CME) programs: Tailored specifically for female physicians to enhance their skills and knowledge.

  • Leadership and management courses: Designed to prepare women for leadership roles within the healthcare sector.

  • Mentorship programs: Pairing young female doctors with experienced mentors can provide guidance, support, and career advice.

Advocacy and Representation

Active participation in healthcare policy-making and advocacy is important. Female doctors are urged to join professional bodies, participate in forums, and contribute to discussions that shape the future of healthcare. Representation matters, and your voice is crucial in driving positive change.

Celebrating Achievements

International Women's Day is also a moment to celebrate the achievements of female doctors who have paved the way for future generations. Let's honour their contributions, draw inspiration from their stories, and continue to support one another in our shared journey towards equality and excellence in medicine.

As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us commit to empowering female doctors in Australia and New Zealand through solidarity, support, and shared resources. Together, we can overcome challenges and continue to make significant contributions to the medical field and society at large.

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Medrecruit Editorial Team
08 March 2024Article by Medrecruit Editorial TeamMedrecruit Editor