The following guest post is written by Linda Brodsky who spent 25 years building a well-respected department at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. She also became the first women ever, in any surgical department, to be promoted to tenured full professor of otolaryngology and pediatrics at the State University of New York at Buffalo. At the top of her career, she became aware of information that led her to believe that her she was a victim of gender discrimination, and she spent the next 10 years fighting her way through a legal labyrinth. Since the resolution of her legal battles in 2007 and 2008, she is devoting her energies to changing the status quo for the next generation of women physicians.
It’s not a question of IF you’ve been affected by gender inequity in healthcare, but HOW.
As a pediatric otolaryngologist who has faced gender discrimination in her own career, I’ve become what I like to call an “accidental expert” in the prevailing and often unfair treatment of women physicians. Now I’m launching a book project to examine how gender inequality in medicine is affecting the quality of healthcare in America. I want to know how the challenges facing women physicians and surgeons are affecting the way health care is delivered in our country. I am particularly interested in stories that illustrate how the unequal treatment of women in medicine has a negative effect on everyone, and I’d like to gather stories of all shapes and sizes—from physicians, patients, nurses, moms, men… Basically, from everyone.
Do you believe that you were not taken seriously or given optimal treatment because of your gender? Did you ever wonder if your physician received the same access to the resources you needed for your health? You don’t have to be a physician, nurse, or healthcare worker to have seen or felt the effects — you just have to be someone who has been to the doctor, has taken medication, has followed the advice of a medical study, has tried to obtain heath insurance or has navigated the healthcare system in any way with difficulty due to gender-related issues. And if you are a doctor who has a story to share, I’d love to hear from you too.
So today I’m calling on all of those who have felt the effects of unequal treatment to share their stories for the book, which will be published early in 2010. Stories empower us and put real people and real events behind the statistics that cannot touch our hearts, enrage our sensibilities, and move us toward action.
I hope you will take the time to share your stories with me. You can submit them at the link above or by emailing me directly at linda [at] lindabrodskymd [dot] com. And please, spread the word to your immediate world! Thanks so much to you all.
Dr. Linda Brodsky, MD