Members of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) student chapter at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine received advice from representatives of the Women’s Faculty Organization (WFO) that ranged from facing the challenges of being a woman in medicine, to how pick a specialty, to healthcare reform at the Spring Afternoon Tea on May 15, an annual mentoring and networking event co-hosted by the two organizations.
When asked the question of managing career and family life, Rose Walczak, MD, instructor in pediatrics and hospital-based medicine, reminded students that while you may “feel like you have to do everything, you don’t.”
“I went to a similar event when I was a medical student and found it helpful to talk to someone who had gone through the training,” said Walczak. “By coming to this event, I want to give back to the students. I also was excited to meet with other faculty who are ahead of me in their careers. It is nice to meet doctors who are doing a good job with work-life balance.”
First-year medical students Amy Abramowitz and Justine Seidenfeld serve as co-presidents of Feinberg’s AMWA. They work closely with AMWA member and WFO representative Sonia Shah, also a first-year student, to organize events like this one that connect classmates with strong female role models.
“The faculty gave some interesting advice. For example, when looking at residencies, they suggested talking to current residents in the program to see if it will be a right fit for you and that not all specialties are female-friendly,” Seidenfeld said. “I like learning more about life after medical school.”
The AMWA student chapter supports the advancement of women in medicine and strives to improve women’s health education. The WFO is committed to advancing the careers of women faculty members at all levels.
“The event gives us more of an idea of what career options are out there,” said Seidenfeld. “We don’t get a lot of exposure to a wide variety of faculty members early on in medical school, so it is nice to have an event like this where we can meet with instructors in different specialties and who are in basic science, clinical, and translational research.”