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Women in Leadership Conference

On May 7th and 8th, Burnaby’s Medical Staff Association sponsored the Women in Medical Leadership conference, a Physician Leadership Institute (PLI) initiative developed by CMA Joule.  The conference was led by two exemplary speakers, Dr. Mamta Gautam, and Monica Olsen, both with extensive experience in coaching, leadership and career development.   The speakers engaged a group of 30 women, with both medical and administrative backgrounds, from the Burnaby Hospital staff. We discussed the importance of confidence, grit and resilience in overcoming gender barriers in leadership, and how to build these habits in both ourselves and colleagues.  Despite the increasing numbers of women in medical school and residency positions, there are still a number of barriers that exist for women entering leadership positions as staff.  At Burnaby Hospital, although female physicians make up 39% (146/377) of physician staff, only 1.6% of women (6/377) hold leadership positions, such as division/department heads.   We are hopeful that the insights provided from the course, as well as the communication and teamwork fostered between participants, will help pave new pathways for women interested in leadership positions at Burnaby Hospital.  We also look forward to organizing networking events in the future that will help the collaborative effort in opening more doors for female leaders at our site. Stay tuned!

Rebecca Nelson, MD MSc FRCSC

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Burnaby Hospital

Clinical Instructor, UBC

Education Lead, Plastic Surgery, Burnaby Hospital

Ethics Committee, Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons