In 2016, women made up about 50 percent of enrolled medical students in the United States. However, women physicians are still dramatically underrepresented in the field of emergency medicine (EM) – only 25 percent of EM physicians are women, and even fewer women occupy EM leadership roles.

As industry leaders, Envision Physician Services considers it our responsibility to tackle gender disparities in medicine head-on. We recognize the importance of fostering women leaders in EM coast-to-coast and providing opportunities for all women in medicine. Rebecca Parker, M.D., Senior Vice President of Leadership and Advocacy and practicing EM physician, believes accessible mentorship is a crucial piece of the puzzle.

“When I came out of medical school, I had no mentorship. But the generation coming out now has women leaders to look up to,” said Dr. Parker. “Our physicians are consciously committed to empowering women in EM.”

Bringing Women Physicians Together

Along with empowering women every day in the workplace, Envision organizes and leads national women’s leadership summits and events coast-to-coast. At large conventions and meetings, our company supplies additional events for women clinicians to meet and network, encouraging mentorship and championing opportunities.

“We encourage both mentors and champions: mentors talk to you and help you learn, while champions promote you and help you gain new opportunities,” said Dr. Parker.

Some of these opportunities will be on full display at ACEP18, where a selection of our women physician leaders will speak on a variety of topics. Dr. Parker will lead three panels focused on topics in risk management, law and liability for physicians in EM. We are also sponsoring ACEP18’s American Association of Women Emergency Physicians (AAWEP) meeting, where Stefanie Simmons, M.D., Director of Patient Experience and Clinician Engagement, will speak about her personal career journey and ethics in EM.

Also at ACEP18, Doug Smith, M.D., FACEP, President and Chief Clinical Officer of Emergency Medicine, will host a women’s reception for up-and-coming women in EM to meet with our women leaders and learn about how to access opportunities for mentorship.

Later this year, women in EM will be invited to a leadership reception sponsored by Envision Physician Services at the FeminEM conference in October. Women physicians can also take the opportunity to learn from Dr. Parker at a FeminEM retreat in February 2019, where she and Lynn Reyman, M.D., will educate women clinicians about developing active leadership skills.

Contributing to Industry Growth and Change

As leaders in healthcare, Envision Physician Services is committed to advocating for women physician leadership–both within our company and across the country. By listening to our clinicians and enacting change on the local, state and national levels, we aim to support the development and advancement of all women in medicine, empowering our physicians to grow into leadership roles and achieve more fulfilling careers.

“Envision wants to help advance EM as a profession and hold high standards for our clinicians,” said Dr. Simmons.  “Some barriers do still exist for women in this field. We need to help our women mentees learn that they must advocate for themselves. It’s so important to listen to our clinicians’ voices.”