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Women Physicians Section Leadership Opportunities

AMA Women Physicians Section (WPS) Governing Council elections for the Member At-Large, Medical Student Section (MSS) representative and American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) representative will take place March 25 – April 15.

Member At-Large position on the WPS Governing Council

The WPS has four candidates running for one WPS Member At-Large position on the Governing Council:

Rose Berkun, MD Rose Berkun, MD
Williamsville, NY
Specialty: Anesthesiology

Endorsed by: Dr. Andrew Kleinman, President, Medical Society of the State of New York

Statement of Interest: Over the past 20 years I have been an active member in several organizations, including American Society of Anesthesiologists, New York State Society of Anesthesiologists and Medical Society of the State of New York. I am presently a Vice president of New York State Society of Anesthesiologists. Last year I was thrilled to be named a liaison from the Medical Society of the State of New York to the Women Physicians Section of AMA. Since then I have tried to reach out to female physicians throughout the New York State. What I have learned confirmed my belief that women in medicine lack mentors and guidance that our male counterparts do.

My goal is to create a national network of female physicians that women physicians can easily tap into. We do have great resources offered through AMWA and AMA; however, a single, organized, structured and easily accessible network will make it easier for individual physicians to get support. I am working in conjunction with University at Buffalo Medical Alumni Association to create such a network for female physicians. The network's launch will coincide with a Symposium for Female Physicians in Buffalo, NY. This event will be a yearly National event featuring prominent female physicians with accomplishments in academic medicine, national organizations, politics and government. The first Symposium is planned for Women in Medicine Month in September of 2015. Becoming a Women Physicians Section's Member at-large will provide me a great opportunity to reach out to female physicians across the US and expand and strengthen the network for female physicians.

Alice Coombs, MD
Alice Coombs, MD
Sharon, MA
Specialty: Anesthesiology

Statement of Interest: According to MMWR report, in 2012, "13.7% of Women over age 18 are in fair or poor health". There are disparities in health and health care for women that require continuous intervention. We must be innovative in ways in which we address and implement policy that address health inequities. Because of my experience in organized medicine, health care policy and patient quality and safety, I feel I can contribute uniquely to the AMA WPS. Advocating for physicians and patients has been a life-long commitment for me.

The current chapter in the landscape of healthcare will require that physicians to be at the table developing strategies to protect the physician capacity to care for their patients. Our patients are first and health care policy and legislation should reflect that. I have been instrumental in initiatives that make a difference in both state and federal policy. As President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, meeting with legislators, I and my fellow MMS Officers and MMS Staff had one on one sessions with the Governor, the Senate President , House Speaker the Finance and other state committees in order to persuade them to include malpractice reform in provider payment reform legislation. This provision would decrease physician malpractice cost, physician practice barriers and unnecessary claims/litigations. My efforts and other stakeholders were successful and this law has been enacted. As MMS membership is over 24,000 physicians, I learned how to move a diverse group to consensus on key issues. I currently serve on NCFMEA and MEDPAC. All of these experiences were invaluable and I am persuaded that my background will be an asset to the internal and external management to the AMA WPS.

Shannon P. Pryor, MD Shannon P. Pryor, MD
Chevy Chase, MD
Specialty: Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Endorsed by: Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Otolaryngology Section Council

Statement of Interest: Women are disproportionately affected by many factors in the medical workplace. Since attending my first AMA meeting as a medical student over 20 years ago, I have served the AMA and my state and specialty societies in many roles, but in recent years have concentrated on making a difference through activities focusing on the role of women in medicine.

After helping to establish the Women in Otolaryngology Section of the American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery and serving as its chair, I was elected in 2012 to our AMA Women Physicians Congress (WPC) Governing Council (GC) and was thus lucky enough to be a part of the transition process as our AMA WPC became the AMA Women Physicians Section (WPS). In 2013, I was honored to be elected the first chair of the newly created AMA WPS. The transition was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work as we sought and implemented new ways to engage, empower, represent, and grow our membership.

As practice patterns and physician demographics change, organized medicine must represent the views of all physicians regardless of gender, ethnicity, practice modality, work schedule, or stage of practice. I have been honored to serve as the WPS chair in the past and I ask you for the opportunity to once again bring my extensive experience and energy to the WPS GC. On your GC, I will continue to work for the best possible environment in which we can practice. I ask for your vote.

Kimberly J. Templeton, MD Kimberly J. Templeton, MD
Leawood, KS
Specialty: Orthopaedic Surgery

Endorsed by: Kansas Medical Society

Statement of Interest: I am interested in continuing work with the AMA, especially in areas that support the careers of women in medicine. I am now completely my initial term as a member of the WPS Governing Council. I am Professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Kansas and am the residency program director. I have chaired several medical school committees, including being the inaugural chair of the Post-Tenure Review Committee. I was the first McCann Professor of Women in Medicine and Science, received the Marjorie J. Siddridge leadership award for women in medicine in 2012, the Blackwell Award for women's leadership in medicine from AMWA in 2013, was inducted into the University of Kansas Women's Hall of Fame in 2014. I am a member of the NBME. I am the incoming president-elect of AMWA. I chair the Sex and Gender Women's Health Collaborative and am an invited founding board member of the Academy of Women's Health. I currently serve as secretary-treasurer of the Kansas Medical Society and am co-chair of the National Quality Forum Musculoskeletal Steering Committee.

I organized and chair the Women Physicians' Caucus of the Kansas Medical Society. I previously served on the AAOS' Council for Research, Quality Assessment, and Technology. I am past-president and remain a member of the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts; I am past-president of the Kansas Orthopaedic Society, the Mid-Central States Orthopaedic Society, the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, the US Bone and Joint Initiative, and the Medical

MSS Representative on the WPS Governing Council

The WPS has one candidate running for the MSS Representative on the WPS Governing Council. The MSS representative, nominated by the AMA-MSS and elected by the AMA-WPS membership, will serve for a one-year term.

Kinnari R. Patel Kinnari R. Patel
Philadelphia, PA
Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Statement of Interest: It was not until the start of my third year when I began working on the wards that I began to appreciate what it means to be a woman physician. I quickly learned that many women physicians and medical students carry themselves differently, are judged differently, and are expected to respond differently when compared to their male colleagues. I also learned that some women are embarrassed by this, and others carry themselves with pride. I want to be a member of the Women Physicians Section Governing Council on behalf of the Medical Student Section because I want to be part of the discussion of the standards, role models, and culture of women physicians in my generation. It is too easy to blend in and let gender lines in leadership be someone else's problem – by becoming an active member of the WPS now, I hope to make a habit of supporting and promoting female leadership in organized medicine, hospital administration, and medical education.

I have been involved in organized medicine since my first year of medical school, as president of my school's chapter, convention committee member, Philadelphia County Medical Society's board member, and currently as chair of the Pennsylvania Medical Society Medical Student Section. I was inspired to get involved and stay involved by the people I have met and the conversations I have started at conferences and continued long afterwards. I am familiar with lobbying, have strategies for connecting local leaders across the state and region, communicate effectively within various sections of the AMA, and have learned to speak up as the only student on a more experienced board. Building upon these skills, I would be able to serve women medical students and contribute to the governing council.

I have a great deal of enthusiasm to give and everything to gain if selected for this position. I am interested in women's health, and would have a forum to discuss current issues, guidelines, and policy changes with other women invested in the same issues. I would continue to grow as an engaged citizen, leader, and communicator. Most of all, I would gain a network of mentors to hear stories from, debate policy with, and expand my appreciation for my future role as a woman physician.

AMWA Representative on the WPS Governing Council

The WPS has one candidate running for the AMWA Representative on the WPS Governing Council. The AMWA representative, nominated by the AMWA and elected by the AMA-WPS membership, will serve for a two-year term.

Neelum T. Aggarwal, MD Neelum T. Aggarwal, MD
Chicago, IL
Specialty: Neurology

Endorsed by: Nancy Church, MD, Member At-Large, OMSS Governing Council

Statement of Interest: As a past AMWA Board member and AMWA's Chief Diversity Officer, I am committed to raising awareness of sex-based differences in the prevalence and treatment of diseases. Serving as the AMWA Liaison to the AMA-WPS section would allow me to share this knowledge with a larger group of women's physicians.

Stroke, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and depression affect women twice as often as men, yet the majority of medical studies still focus predominantly on men. The question facing medical professionals is this: To what extent are these differences the result of biology, anatomy, or social conditioning?

I have held numerous leadership roles overseeing clinical operations and conducting clinical based research. I have served as a grant reviewer, steering committee member, and principal investigator for NIA/NIH and industry-funded clinical trials. I have conducted clinical exams among Chicago's racially and ethnically diverse populations, performing over 2500 neurological home visit evaluations over the last 18 years. My study participants have predominantly been women from diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds and have provided valuable insight on changes in cognitive and physical function over the lifespan and women's perceptions of their own health. Working with the AMA-WPS Section will allow further discussion and direct efforts to improve our understanding of how women's health, treatment and outcomes, differ from those of men.