FemInEM Idea Exchange (FIX) was hands-down the most inspirational conference I have ever attended! Thank you to all the women and men of FIX17 for sharing these phenomenal insights. I can’t wait for FIX18 – October 16, 2018 can’t come soon enough!

  1. The power of networking:  There are a lot of smart, accomplished, hardworking women in emergency medicine who are genuinely interested in the advancement of women in the workplace, academia, leadership and life in general. Find ways to connect with like-minded women in person at conferences like FIX, AWAEM, AWAEP, etc. Who you know is just as important as what you know.
  2. The power of mentorship:  Leaders grow by standing on the shoulders of others. This fact is well recognized by the well-accomplished men and women in our field, and they welcome opportunities to give back to the community.
  3. The power of Twitter:  There have been hundreds of original tweets, close to one million impressions and 300K potential reach for FIX over the past few weeks. In plain English, that’s a lot of people reading about FIX (and you!). If you have not used Twitter before, do not be scared. There are a lot of online resources, and even better, people willing to help. Recruit one of your social media-active colleagues; a cup of coffee and sincere interest will take you a long way.
  4. The power of advocacy:  Women tend to undersell themselves, not ask for opportunities, and give in to “bullying” to conform to social expectations. Explanations vary from anthropological aversion to risk-taking behavior, to subtle cultural disdain for assertive women. Gender equity will not happen if we do not advocate for ourselves. Remember, you cannot project your voice unless you believe you have a voice!
  5. The power of choice:  FemInEM come in all different shapes and colors. From working in a rural hospital to an academic center, and from being a Jane of all trades to picking an unusual procedure as a niche, there’s something for everyone. The inquisitive nature of the great women (and men) at this conference led them to explore areas of interest that may not be typically geared toward physicians, and find their niche outside the realm of “typical” interests. Don’t be constrained by the script into which you were born; the moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life.
  6. The power of leadership:  We tend to think of leaders as chairpersons, program directors or CEOs. Recognize the leadership role you lead on a daily basis; the director of flow in your emergency department, the leader of a resuscitation, and the clinical mentor for the day. Humility and the ability to give good feedback are essential. Be authentic, kind, humble, truthful and helpful.
  7. The power of speaking:  People fear public speaking more than they do death. That said, it’s the best way to advocate for yourself and your cause. Whether it’s a keynote lecture at a major national conference, or sharing your opinion at a meeting – they’re two ends of the same spectrum. The only way to get better at public speaking is to do it over and over again, and put yourself out there. There are numerous resources, whether open to all, or targeted toward a specific group such as emergency physicians or women. Identify a “dream” speaking opportunity and ask yourself, how can I get there? Reach out to prominent speakers in your field of interest (see #2) and ask them to show you the ropes. Remember the elusive charm of the “out of town” expert – that could be you! A few resources to check out are Angela Lussier’s Speaker Sisterhood and the AAEM Speaker Development Group.
  8. The power of writing:  Amy Faith Ho and Dr. Christine Ngaruiya shared their tips on writing for the media. Greatest tips? Engage, be you, be passionate and be aware. Learn more at http://ed.gr/f1he 
  9. The power of reading: (or those with long commutes, listening to audio books) Speakers and workshop directors shared a few of their favorites books, which cover a range of topics, from finance to writing to female empowerment. Some are sure to make it to your “Must Read” list. These made it to mine:
  • Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
  • Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever
  • You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  1. The power of planning:  Whether it’s in tackling a big project, the next step in your career, or combating stress on a daily basis, being deliberate and mindful of our actions is at the core of getting things done.