Over the past three years MomMD has observed thousands of active discussions and received thousands of emails from women physicians and women physicians-to-be. The time has come to formalize the challenges, requirements and concerns presented by our women members and create a declaration for change in the field of medicine. These changes will impact ourselves, dad MD's, our families and future generations of women in medicine.
In July 2002, the UK-based Medical Women's Federation released their "Manifesto for Change". Founded in 1917, the Medical Women's Federation promotes the personal and professional development of women in medicine and women's health issues. After releasing and circulating this document to medical organizations, politicians and the government this document has already had an impact in Great Britain. With women now outnumbering men in UK medical schools (66%) the manifesto calls for fundamental changes in the way that women doctors are trained and employed throughout their working lives, and change to discriminatory attitudes and practices towards women doctors and women patients.
With voices united, change can be accomplished. It is our hope that MomMD is a catalyst for discussion and change in the United States of America. We will circulate and release our document to the press and public. The MomMD declaration will seek the support of our members and other medical organizations.
Join us in realizing this mission, contribute to the development of this document. Speak up and say your piece! Whether you are a physician, resident, medical student or premedical student, you are an integral part of the medical profession at this stage in history.
We are honored to feature the Medical Women's Federation as our spotlight site for January 2003. After reading the following excerpts from the "Manifesto for Change", you too will feel empowered to voice your opinion.
"The Medical Women's Federation believes that there is an unmet need for family friendly working practices which take into account that many women doctors will become mothers and raise families at some stage in their career... The retention and recruitment of women doctors is essential for the development of flexibility at all levels."
The MWF demands include:
Flexible training - fair pay for part-time work, clarification of pensions for part-time trainees and more opportunity for flexible training at SHO and Specialist Registrar (residency) levels.
Flexible working - hours of work compatible with school hours, changes in traditional clinic hours and proper retainer/returner schemes in hospital medicine, increased flexible work-options (job-sharing, etc).
They also discuss maternity pay, child-care, infrastructure and clerical support and the right for women patients to see women doctors in any field of medicine.
What should be included in the MomMD Manifesto for Change?
Let us know in the forums! If you're interested in working on developing, publicising or writing this document let us know! If you are a member of another medical organization or an influential person let us know what you can do to spread the word (after the Manifesto has been published).