Women Physicians

WPS members and news highlights


May 2024

Aleesha Shaik
Aleesha Shaik, MD, MPH

From WPS Chair Aleesha Shaik, MD, MPH

I hope you will indulge me in a moment of reflection to start off my last Chair’s Corner. It has been such a privilege and an honor to have been elected chair of the WPS for the past two years. I am deeply grateful for the tremendous women leaders I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from over four governing councils, as well as the amazing members of our section that I have gotten to know. Over the past few years, we have launched many new initiatives (several of which are mentioned on this page) with the goals of promoting leadership development, advocating for women’s health and fostering community within our large section. I am so proud of the work we all have done for women in medicine and look forward to the progress to come.

Thank you for sharing a few minutes with me every month as I update you on the work of our governing council and issues affecting our section. This has been an unforgettable and formative experience in my career.

2023 WPS Annual Meeting Governing Council
2022-2024 WPS Governing Council

In just a few short weeks, we will be gathering again in Chicago for the AMA Annual Meeting. The WPS will be bringing forth resolutions on “Postpartum Depression in Medical Students and Physicians” and “Reducing the Lifetime Earnings Gap in the US” to the House of Delegates at this meeting. The WPS Handbook Review Committee will soon be reviewing other proposed resolutions to develop our section’s position on relevant topics.

We are also excited to announce the return of our popular Speed Mentorship Program at annual this year. This mixer is a unique opportunity for women in different stages of their personal and professional lives to learn from each other’s experiences in a structured setting. Attendees will rotate between tables with different topics, led by a designated mentor, every 10 minutes. Topics will include fertility planning, contract negotiation, social media branding, C-suite communication, leadership advancement and more. Past participants shared that this was a valuable networking session and that they appreciated the opportunity to discuss the unique challenges faced by women in medicine. This is definitely an event you don’t want to miss.

If you haven’t yet registered for the annual meeting (so that you can attend the Speed Mentorship event!), then please register now. The WPS Business Meeting will be held on Friday, June 7, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and the WPS Speed Mentorship Program will be held on Sunday, June 9, from noon-1 p.m.

Are you a WPS member interested in learning more about the AMA and how to get more involved? Or are you a WPS leader interested in sharing knowledge with newer members? We’re now seeking mentees and mentors for our WPS Buddy Program that connects WPS members at AMA meetings. This may be very helpful for first-time attendees or anyone interested in getting more involved with the WPS. Please complete this short form by May 19 if interested in this program.

Presented by WPS in conjunction with the AMA Foundation, the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women provides scholarships of up to $10,000 to support research advancing the study of women in the medical profession and strengthening the AMA's ability to identify and address the issues affecting women physicians and medical students. Learn more and apply by July 15.

Last month, we examined an article by Cynthia A. Wong et al. on misconceptions about women in leadership in academic medicine and recommendations for individuals and organizations.

Anna’s Book Club selection

This month, we will discuss the Introduction to Practical Time Management episode of the Time Titans podcast. The hosts examine how response to time stressors varies between sexes and provide actionable strategies. Join us on the GroupMe at the end of the month to share your thoughts and approaches for time management!

This May, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in recognition of the contributions of generations of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to America’s history, culture and legacy. We are especially grateful for the work of physicians from these backgrounds who make up nearly a quarter of the active physician workforce. We must also acknowledge that much work remains to combat the significant health disparities AAPI patients continue to face.

May also gives us an opportunity to recognize the importance of mental health in a patient’s overall wellbeing. Be sure to share the recently launched 988 suicide and crisis lifeline phone number with anyone who may need help. Remember to make your own mental health a priority.

Led by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day, May 12, and serves to highlight women’s health issues. This year’s theme is Empowering Women, Cultivating Health: Celebrating Voices, Wellness and Resilience. Learn more about the different topics for each day and find additional resources for patients.

Photo of Krystal Tomei
Krystal Tomei, MD, MPH

This month, we are honored to celebrate Krystal Tomei, MD, MPH, chair-elect of the AMA Council on Medical Education. Dr. Tomei is a pediatric neurosurgeon and the Reinberger Endowed Director in Pediatric Neurological Surgery at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. She also serves as the program director for the Case Western Reserve University Neurological Surgery Residency Program. She received her medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine and her MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She completed her residency in neurosurgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and her fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Tomei has published extensively in numerous medical journals and textbooks. In addition to her work with the AMA, she serves as a member at-large for the AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery. She is an advocate for women in medicine, passionate about advocacy and a leader in medical education. While women make up less than half of all physicians in America, we are particularly underrepresented in neurosurgery―only 8% of American neurosurgeons are women and even fewer are leaders in the field. For those aspiring to follow in Dr. Tomei’s footsteps, she serves as an incredible role model.

Dr. Tomei has previously been recognized for her leadership with an AMA Excellence in Medicine Award. You can read more about her life in the AMA’s Shadow Me Specialty Series and Members Move Medicine Series series. Dr. Tomei, you are an inspiration and we are so grateful to have you as a member of our section and a leader within the AMA!

Have information about WPS members doing great work? Email us at [email protected].