Volume 5 Number 2 In This Issue
Without pretending to cover every aspect of diversity, this issue of CJPL builds on the previous one by expanding the scope of equity and diversity in the health care system and medical leadership. Despite the wide variety in topics — gender, generations, races, roles in academic and health care organizations — the following five integrated items offer commonality and can help us with the changes needed to increase diversity and equity.
Numerous models categorize, characterize, and explain differences among generations in society. Currently, four distinct generations are engaged in the physician pipeline from early training to late career. The distinct differences in how they view the world, their self-perceptions, and how they conduct relationships create real and imagined tensions. However, the significance of these differences is debated, as variability among those within a generation is likely larger than that between generations. Nevertheless, medical leaders and educators will be wise to develop an appreciation for generational differences to ensure that everyone may live up to their full potential.
In my long health care journey, I had outstanding care from knowledgeable clinicians with experience and skill. But I wanted to be treated like a person, not an array of symptoms, a problem to be solved, a case number on a chart.
SA sea change is happening in Saskatchewan. Health regions have consolidated into a single authority, and the entire health system is undergoing a complete redesign informed by the people who provide care and the patients who receive it.
Organizations that actively promote diversity tend to be learning and practice environments of choice, excellence, and innovation. However, despite all our hard work and successful social equity efforts, discrimination still exists in Canadian health care and medical education. Leaders can influence diversity in their organization by taking four urgent actions.
We know that the road to leadership for women is arduous and the pace is slower than anticipated, despite their increasing representation in the labour force. In Canadian health care, where women constitute over 80% of the workforce, their representation in leadership positions is low. In our project, Empowering Women Leaders in Health, we apply a gender lens to achieve transformative systemic gender equity change in these contexts through the increased participation, visibility, and advancement of women in leadership positions. In this paper, we provide an overview of the needs assessment we conducted, which forms the basis for the larger project.
Diversity is one factor that has a positive impact on organizational performance. Women remain underrepresented in leadership positions of medical organizations despite two decades of equal numbers of male and female medical school graduates. Using Sheryl Sandberg’s well-known book Lean In as a springboard for addressing the gender gap, I propose opportunities for medical organizations to improve their gender diversity, a strategy that has potential to improve the workplace for women and men, as well as for the organizations in which they work.
“The president would like to speak with you,” said the unfamiliar voice on the phone. She was referring to the president of the university which, just 18 hours earlier, had granted me a degree. Although I had never graduated from medical school before, I knew this call was unusual. Was the president calling every student in my class?
not only for physicians, but also for patients and the health care system. Further study on diversity and equity in medical leadership in Canada is needed to identify areas for improvement and ongoing work to address and correct gaps. read article
The headline in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, “Has suicide become an occupational hazard of practising medicine,”1 needs to be a call to action for all leaders in health care. When burnout rates are 50% for physicians and nurses, we need to ask serious questions about the system, not the individuals.
Every physician leader has the power to increase the representation of early-career women physician leaders. Recommendations, based on interviews with young physician leaders — both women and men — as well as brief highlights from the literature, include dispelling myths such as women’s “disinterest” in leadership roles, eliminating bias and exposing unconscious ones, avoiding discriminatory language, and accommodating family demands.
From 2008 to 2013, I served as the senior medical officer and VP medicine in the Regina Qu’Appelle health region. Almost 600 physicians, spread over a large geographic area, provided cradle-to grave tertiary care to
400,000 patients. My job was loosely described as “head coach of the medical staff.”
Achieng Tago, Mellissa Ward, MD, Megan Delisle, MD
Women’s careers and leadership opportunities look drastically different today than they did 20 or 30 years ago, a phenomenon that has been well captured in the media. However, a story less often told is how this is changing the face of motherhood. Becoming a parent is inseparable from the career choices women make. As more and more women physicians are pursuing leadership positions, it is important to discuss how this shift affects motherhood. The traditional motherhood role is not a reality for many working women today. Achieving gender equity in the workplace is currently at the centre of many political spheres, but Dr. Jones wanted to draw attention to the other gender issues women face that are often silenced.
The 10-80-10 Principle: Unlocking Dynamic Performance
Reviewed by Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD
The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, PhD
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2018
Reviewed by Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD