• A
  • |
  • A
  • Text size

Women Physician Section Leadership Opportunities

Nominations for the AMA Women Physicians Section (WPS) Governing Council are now closed.

The AMA-WPS Governing Council election will open April 1 and close at midnight Central time on April 15. Members will be able to elect the section’s Delegate, Alternate Delegate, Member At-Large, and section representatives.

AMA-WPS Delegate Position (Vote for One)

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

Endorsed by:  Dr. Lawrence J. Epstein, President, New York State Society of Anesthesiologists

Statement of Interest:
For many years I have been active in the governing and legislative affairs for the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists and American Society of Anesthesiologists.  I have fought hard and will continue to do so on behalf of the Anesthesiologists.  However, I am a physician first and I feel very strongly that the American Medical Association is the only voice physicians have.  I would like to be that voice and will work hard on behalf of all physicians.  My goal is to increase the AMA and WPS memberships and get more physicians actively involved in our organization.

Jana  Janco, MDJana Janco, MD
Harriman, NY
Specialty: Anesthesiology

Endorsed by:  Medical Society of the State of New York's Young Physicians Section

Statement of Interest:
As a new attending, while navigating the hurdles of new operating room staff, unknown surgeons and attempting to find the location of the rationed propofol, I was consistently centered through this transition by my commitment to high quality patient care. As my first year progressed, I realized that to be committed to my patients, I needed to not only provide outstanding clinical care; but also needed to be involved at many levels within my department, hospital, and the AMA. Being a wife, mother, and new attending I felt confronted with another unique set of challenges, thus I believe now more than ever, it is incumbent upon women physicians to sit at the table, have their voices heard and champion women physician leadership and to give voice to women's health care issues. I believe that when women take success into their own hands, ownership of their achievements, development and ambition, there is no limits to what they can accomplish.

Thus far my professional leadership experience includes: serving as president of my district within the New York State Society of Anesthesiologist as well as representing MSSNY as young physician delegate to the AMA. I am also currently serving as chair of the Young Physicians Section of The Medical Society of the State of New York. In addition to clinical medicine, I am currently pursuing my executive MBA at Washington State University.

Carolyn  M. PayneCarolyn M. Payne
Sylvania, OH

Medical School:  The University of Toledo College of Medicine

Statement of Interest
This past year, it was my distinct pleasure to serve as the inaugural delegate of the WPS. I am seeking re-­‐election to serve as delegate, as this position is integral to assuring smart and compassionate women's health policy is prioritized on the AMA's agenda, and I feel I possess the skills and tools necessary to be an effective advocate on the front-­‐lines of advancing women's health policy. As section delegate, I have been a focused and influential voice in the HOD, advocating and catalyzing the adoption of numerous resolutions of particular importance to women physicians and women patients.

In addition to representing the section as delegate, I am currently serving my second term as the medical student section representative to the WPS Governing Council. I am committed to the mission of the WPS and believe strongly in the importance of developing and prioritizing policy and initiatives which improve women's ability to practice medicine given the unique challenges women face in the work-­‐force. I am also deeply committed to gender equity and assuring women can access the healthcare they need in a safe and compassionate manner. The WPS is uniquely situated to promote equality and justice in the healthcare system. Through policy, education, and research, we can transform the health system into a more fair and just one for women. I am energetic and passionate about proactively engaging in meaningful reform efforts in this issue area and will continue to "lean in" on behalf of the section if re-­‐elected to delegate.

AMA-WPS Alternate Delegate Position (Vote for One)

Lynda Kabbash, MDLynda Kabbash, MD
Chestnut Hill, MA
Specialty:  Allergy

Endorsed by:  Mass Medical Society Committee on Women

Statement of Interest:
I am very committed to expanding the role of women in medicine, both with respect to the practice of medicine and women's health in general. While some organizations such as my own American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) seem to feel that a Women's Committee is no longer needed, I do not agree. I was very heartened to see that the AMA has now established a Women's Section as opposed to a Caucus, which had been the case until this year. Similarly, the Mass Medical Society has a very dynamic Committee on Women in Medicine, of which I am also an active member. We sponsor various lectures and courses on Women's Health, leadership, equal pay for equal work, and other topics.

The role of a liaison is traditionally one of facilitating communication between the state and national organizations.  However, I now realize that my interests and goals would be better served by becoming a member at large of the Governing Council.  I believe this would allow me to play a more active role in the Women's Section, advancing the stated goals of the WPS: networking, mentoring, advocacy, and leadership.  I hope to work on a national level to increase AMA membership among women, identify professional issues and trends among women in medicine, advocating for women's health and policy regarding women's health, and working with other women's professional medical organizations including AMWA and specialty groups such as AAAAI. 

Pooja Oza, MDPooja Oza, MD
Morton Grove, IL
Specialty:  Pediatrics

Statement of Interest:
I have been an active AMA member since 2006 (first year medical student) and have had the privilege to serve as a leader in various capacity. I have learned that the advocacy, legislative and policy decisions truly change lives, and make a lasting impact on society.  It is my long term goal to advocate for health policies that can positively impact families and communities in United States. 

An Alternate Delegate from WPS to AMA is an individual who represents the interest of women's health and women physicians at the AMA's annual and interim meetings, serves as a liaison between WPS and AMA.   My involvement as Medical Student Section (MSS) and Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) Representative to Women's Physician Section (WPS) Governing Council, MSS Region 2 Delegate, and Illinois RFS Delegate to AMA's House of Delegate has equipped me with the knowledge and tools needed to understand the intricacies of health policy and advocacy. It has taught me the importance of advocacy and the unique voice and perspective women physicians maintain in organized medicine. It has allowed me to be organized, have excellent time management skills, be outspoken and confident to voice my concerns/ opinions in a respectful manner.

These qualities are essential for the WPS Alternate Delegate to AMA.  Having authored resolutions and my previous experience in critically evaluating resolutions as a previous Delegate makes me an ideal candidate for this position.  If chosen as the WPS Alternate delegate I will have the privilege to serve as your voice, and be able to advocate for our patients, families and women physicians.   Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I hope to you will give me an opportunity to serve you as your WPS Alternate Delegate to AMA 2014-2015.

At-Large Position (Vote for One)

Shannon Pryor, MDShannon Pryor, MD
Washington, DC
Specialty:  Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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 made a difference through activities focusing on the role of women in medicine, and hope to continue this work.

After helping to establish the Women in Otolaryngology Section of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, I was elected in 2012 to our AMA Women Physicians Congress (WPC) Governing Council 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 chair of the newly created WPS. So far, the transition been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work as we seek and implement 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 and I ask for the opportunity to continue to bring my 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.

Ami A. Shah, MDAmi A. Shah, MD
Mountain Top, PA
Specialty:  Diagnostic Radiology

Endorsed by: AMA Section Council on Radiology, Dr. Michael Brunner
The Common Wealth Medical College-recipient of the Academy of Clinical Educators award

Statement of Interest:
I am applying for my second term as a member of the AMA-Women Physician's Governing Council.  My most important achievement on the governing council was to be a part of the dynamic group of women leaders who worked hard towards achieving status as an AMA Section.  It is my personal goal to empower women in all aspects of life.   As a single parent, having gone through the challenging experience of a divorce during my fellowship year in training, I thought to use my struggles to benefit others who may be going through a similar situation and founded a single parenting network in New York City.  As a member of the Governing Council, I also supported and worked on a resolution regarding, "Transparency on Maternity and Paternity Leave Policies for Trainees."  I would like the opportunity to continue to serve for my second term to continue the important work begun during my first term.

I support increasing the number of women physician leaders and promoting a resource for women in medicine through mentoring and leadership.  Through thoughts, action and dedication, I would like to continue working towards empowering women, so that in the face of any adversity, we can have the confidence and ability to overcome any obstacle and continue to positively impact our families and communities.  In addition to giving lectures at various leadership development events, I have continued to mentor students in my Alma Maters, SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine and Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  Serving on the Alumni Board of my Medical School has enabled me to continue to support the school which gave me the strength of education to empower myself as a woman with a satisfying career in Radiology.   I was humbled upon being recognized at the AMA-Physician Mentor Recognition Program. 

It is my goal to support a woman physician's voice in the AMA and in the medical community.  I ask for your vote to elect me to the AMA Women Physicians Section Governing Council, so that I can continue the important work begun during my first term. Thank you.

Young Physicians (YPS) Representative (Vote "Yes or No")

Josephine C. Nguyen, MDJosephine C. Nguyen, MD
North Bethesda, MD
Specialty:  Dermatology

Endorsed by:  Young Physicians Section
United States Navy

Statement of Interest:
It has been my privilege to represent our Women's Physician Section as a Member-at-Large and its first Alternate Delegate.  I would be honored to now serve the WPS as the representative to the Young Physician Section. 

I am a passionate advocate for issues affecting female physicians and patients. I have traveled across the country encouraging and mentoring young women to stand up and be leaders within medicine. At the 2013 Interim AMA Meeting, Dr. Payne (your WPS Delegate) and I worked side by side to present resolutions targeted at improving female patient access to tubal ligations and reproductive parity.  I would like to continue in my role listening to the viewpoints and concerns of my fellow female physicians, researching ways to address those issues effectively, and bringing that perspective to the HOD and YPS.  In addition, I am excited about taking the lead in developing formal mentoring groups for WPS female physicians, with the goal of creating connections and building up female physician leaders in our country!

In my 15 years of military service, I have developed the courage, wisdom, and strength to stand confidently amongst my male counterparts. I demonstrated to my colleagues that women bring unique leadership skills and vision to the table, and hope to set an example for the young women coming behind me. As Director of Medical Student Accessions for Navy Medicine, I have overseen a 5% increase in female students entering Navy Medicine. I bring this unwavering and tireless devotion to my job as your WPS Alternate Delegate. 

During this time of rapid change in healthcare delivery, our perspective as women physicians is badly needed. I will work to ensure that our caucus' diverse experiences and views are effectively heard in the HOD and YPS, and I respectfully ask for your vote.

Resident and Fellows Section (RFS) Representative (Vote "Yes or No")

Christina M.  Talerico, MDChristina M. Talerico, MD
Fairhope, AL
Specialty:  Psychiatry

Endorsed by:  Medical Association of the State of Alabama
Alabama Psychiatric Physicians Association

Statement of Interest:
"My mom doesn't do car line; she's a doctor."  This is how my then 8 year old son so eloquently explained to his friends why I'm not around as much as other mothers.  This overhead moment made me so proud because it showed that my son understood it all – women physicians serve a wonderful purpose and we make many sacrifices in our non-professional lives to do so.  Women physicians are changing the face of medicine, and we need to keep encouraging more women to join and stay in the profession.  The AMA WPS is an important force for identifying and addressing the emerging issues affecting women physicians.

The voice of women physicians in the future of healthcare has never been as important as it is today.  Women's health issues are finally a dominant topic of conversation in this country, and we need to continue the discussion for many years to come.  I want to use my own voice and skill set to further the cause of the AMA WPS.  I am involved in local and state organizations, and this position would allow me to further develop my leadership skills and get more involved in organized medicine on the national level.  Being an active AMA member throughout my medical school career and into my residency has made me a better physician, and I want to encourage other women physicians to reap those same benefits of membership.

Thank you for the opportunity to seek out your vote for the RFS Representative to the WPS Governing Council.

Medical Student Section (MSS) Representative (Vote for One)

Rie SharkyRie Sharky
Shreveport, LA
Medical School:  Louisiana State University Health Shreveport School of Medicine

Statement of Interest
I am applying for the medical student position on the AMA Women Physician Section Governing Council. When I began medical school, I knew that in addition to learning all the tools, facts and details of becoming a physician, I wanted to also learn the skills of becoming a strong community leader. As I enter this profession, I saw that it was one of great responsibility and I saw the need to learn the vocabulary and develop a voice as a representative for my school, city, state, classmates, and patients. I care deeply about each component and have been fortunate to pursue and receive opportunities at all levels.

At the local level, I was elected to a position in my first year of medical school that surprised me. As the AMA-MSS Delegate for my school's chapter, I quickly learned that the position required for me to be a liaison between my local, state and a national medical societies and physician leaders. I took the position seriously and got the most out of each meeting and conference. It became a phenomenal immersion in the culture of organized medicine. Additionally, I learned that the role of a liaison was significant, my voice mattered and participation in the national dialogue presented an opportunity to ignite change!

Close to my heart, is the importance of women leaders and issues of women in medicine. Throughout my life, I have taken strength and inspiration from women mentors including teachers, my college chancellor, business managers, and the physician who inspired my career. Prior to medical school, I recall attending a historical exhibit of women physicians throughout American history at my school's library. Reading and learning about the lives of these women was a significant experience to me at a time when I had many doubts about my dream of becoming a physician.

During my medical school, I have faced challenges that led me to reflect on advice from the author of Women Don't Ask who spoke at my first WPS meeting in Chicago and more recently the words of former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, MD at Interim. Each of these women, the library exhibit, my mentors, have given me practical tool and especially the courage to take on leadership roles with strength and grace.

Rachel E. SolnickRachel E. Solnick
Houston, TX
Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine

Statement of Interest:
I am extremely interested in becoming a member of the WPS because I am passionate about advancing women's influence in medicine and want to help make medicine a profession that welcomes women. I am unsatisfied with the status quo that women make up only 20% of Congress, and 16.9% of corporate board seats. And when women are on boards, they speak less than their proportional representation. I care so strongly about promoting women as leaders that this is my third time applying - but because I feel I could contribute so much, I haven't been deterred.

I have had a variety of experiences in supporting women empowerment. My interest in women's health began at Rice University, where I started a literary magazine as a platform to empower women to take charge of their sexual health, and to reduce stigma for both women and men in discussing their sexual choices. I wrote grants for over $7,000 over two years to publish Open Magazine, which gained national attention, and I completed the largest survey to date of student sexual behavior. Pursuing my interest in reproductive health, I travelled to Botswana where I filmed a documentary about AIDS, highlighting the stigma and cultural challenges women faced in the epidemic. I continued my advocacy in medical school. In 2011, I lead authored a resolution, now part of Texas Medical Association policy, which refutes the Texas Ultrasound bill requiring a transvaginal ultrasound for women prior to abortion. Supporting breastfeeding is another issue I care strongly about- this past year I recruited students to help work on a study of resident mother's breastfeeding habits and am currently working with a faculty mentor to finalize the survey. Residents have been found to be an at-risk population when it comes to adequately breastfeeding their children. I believe medicine should have policies in place to support women who want to have families.

As a member of the WPS, I would have much to contribute from the student perspective and AMA policy in general. As leader of the student Texas caucus, an elected position from the Texas Medical Association, I gained experience evaluating policies as well as speaking to a large group. As a WPS member, I hope to start an email list serve to update interested AMA MSS members of important public health issues for women, and interesting business of the WPS. Thank you for your consideration.