Career Tips From Female Physician Leaders

Stephanie Cajigal; Nancy W. Dickey, MD; Gail L. Rosseau, MD; Helena W. Rodbard, MD; Kimberly A. Skelding, MD


November 18, 2014

Medscape: What advice do you have for young female doctors who are interested in leadership positions?

Dr Rodbard: It is surprising to me that in the 23 years that the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has been in existence, there have only been two female presidents. So, there is still unlimited opportunity for women to come up the ladder, but you have to be willing to work very hard and fight for your beliefs. It takes determination and commitment.

Medscape: Was there ever a time where you felt like you were being held back because you were a woman?

Dr Rodbard: No. I just always thought of myself as a physician, as an endocrinologist, and I think that helped propel me to success. In fact, I was the first pregnant woman resident in my program; this made me want to set a good example and work harder than my male counterparts because I wanted to open the way for other women who choose to have families while they are residents. I had to show them that I was at least as good as the men, if not better.

Medscape: What advice do you have for female medical students and young female doctors?

Dr Rodbard: Do the best you can for your patients and stay up to date, because medicine is changing very fast. And if you're interested in leadership positions, you have to fight for them. We can change the face of medicine; we can humanize the face of medicine and make it less bureaucratic and more sensitive to people's needs. I would strongly, strongly encourage women to go into leadership positions. I know how hard it is to juggle so much, but in the long run it is well worth it.


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