OUWB celebrates Women in Medicine Month through virtual events


Photo courtesty of OUWB

Top, from left, Sheala Jafry, M.D., Lori Mausi, M.D., and Deidre Hurse, Ph.D. Bottom, from left, Rena Seltzer, Lori LaCivita, Ph.D., and Deirdre Pitts, Ph.D.

The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Women in Medicine Month is celebrated in September to acknowledge the growing number of women in the medical profession. Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) is contributing to recognizing women in the field by hosting three virtual events.

Each of the three events, covering various topics, are hosted by the Center for Excellence in Medical Education (CEME) at OUWB. They will take place on Zoom on different days and times.

“We really try to come up with programs to support women,” Ann Voorheis-Sargent, director of CEME, said. “This year we are presenting two speakers, and then we have the toxic session, too. So, we are trying to understand and address issues that women face in medicine. We do address some throughout the year, but we try to specifically pick some programming to do it during the month of September.”

The Glass Ceiling: Broken, Shattered or Merely Dented? – On Tuesday, Sept. 13 (1-3 p.m.)

The first virtual event was a webinar presented by Lori LaCivita, Ph.D., faculty at Walden University. The webinar focused on challenges faced by individuals of different gender and race and utilizing transformational leadership behaviors to overcome such challenges.

“She [Lori] is involved with emotional intelligence and different items that she serves as a consultant in the different areas,” Voorheis-Sargent said. “She did a session for us on positive leadership earlier in the year, and I reached out and asked her because I was looking for some unique things for the Women in Medicine month. That’s why she’s offering this session.”

Toxic: A Black Woman’s Story – Facilitating Conversations Surrounding Bias, Microaggressions, and Health Disparities – On Thursday, Sept. 15 (1-3 p.m.)

This virtual event will be composed of interactive discussions about racism – specifically against Black women – and real-world experiences of microaggressions in healthcare providers and patient interactions.

“Attendees will watch a video called “Toxic,” Voorheis-Sargent said. “Then we are going to have a panel that will be discussing the video. “Toxic” is something that we’ve offered several times in the past, but because it does really fit with women and health disparities, we’re offering it again this month.”

Authority, Voice, and Influence for Women– On Wednesday, Sept. 28 (2-4 p.m.)

The last virtual session will be hosted by Rina Seltzer,  the author of a book called “The Coach’s Guide for Women Professors” in which she provides practical and empowering strategies and invaluable resources for women.

“We actually did a book club [at OUWB] on her book at one time, and we usually have her come and present at least once or twice a year,” Voorheis-Sargent said. “She does [cover] a variety of different topics. This is not just for medical, rather it’s for any woman out there, which is why we opened it up to all. We try to open all of our sessions to the university because we want to have a good audience, and we want to share.”

Although the video discussion on Sept. 15 is now full and closed from further registration, anyone interested can still attend the last event upon completion of OUWB’s registration form in advance.