By Patsy McNeil, MD
I’ve been an Attending in Emergency Medicine in or around our nation’s capital for the last 16 years. Throughout my career I have often been the only one at every significant academic turn and as I sat in almost every leadership meeting of my career. I’ve been the only woman often and the only African-American frequently. It would be a gross overstatement to say that this has been ideal or always comfortable. I’ve gotten quite used to it, however, and have followed my passions in Emergency Medicine and life generally in ways such that this has only become so much background noise as I go throughout my day to day.
Statistics suggest that my path to success has not been everyone’s path however. If choosing gender to focus on, despite the fact that women are now 40% of American Emergency Medicine residency classes, when you take a broad view of the marketplace, we are under-represented in both Academic and private EM groups. We are often under-represented as full-time work-staff and are markedly under-represented in leadership positions.
That is about to change.
In a bold move towards changing the landscape of Emergency Medicine and Acute Care Services including Observation Medicine, Hospitalist Medicine and Urgent Care services, my EM Healthcare group, MEP Health has become one of now six founding member groups of a new company called US-Acute Care Solutions. We are joined by EMP, Headquartered in Ohio and serving locations nationwide, Tampa Bay Emergency Physicians of Florida, Emergency Physicians at Porter Hospitals, APEX Emergency Physician and ERGENTUS all of Denver making us the fourth largest Emergency Medicine Group in the country. While other healthcare groups continue to debate business models to try and survive, US Acute Care Solutions (USACS) is newly thriving thanks to its culture where physician ownership not only leads to better patient care but leads to clear company policies that reflect the wants and needs of the workforce.
Recognizing that statistics favor more lucrative business outcomes when diversity marks both leadership and workforce1, USACS is making itself the Destination Employer for Women as part of its business plan. This will likely be a game changer for women in Emergency Medicine. Did you know that EBIT margins at more diverse companies are 14% higher than in the least diverse companies2? Did you know that gender-diverse business units have better financial outcomes than those dominated by one gender to the tune of up to 46% higher increases in comparable revenue3? We do.
What does this mean? It means that USACS has a Diversity and Inclusion Council that is actively re-imagining policy as it builds best practices for the company at every turn. It means that management, networking and support for women and minorities will be strikingly different when comparing this company to others. It means that going forward, everyone has an opportunity to be at the helm of decision-making as this year-old company strives to be a striking differentiator in the marketplace. We are actively pursing building a company that considers both clinical staff and the bottom line, and unique opportunities to structure the business are occurring with leadership opportunities around every corner.
Building it Better has begun. In these initial stages, clinicians are taking time away from clinical work and away from family to gather together and express opinions about what would make it easier to be a fantastic contributor in the workplace while great consideration and respect occurs for the home. We know that we will have the best Emergency Medicine fully paid parental leave policy in the United States. We know that we will consider the time prior to parental leave and post parental leave and have policies in place that are considerate of new parents. We know that a spousal or adoptive parent needs consideration and paid leave and it is being built into policy. What if we consider what childcare considerations might look like when we think of obligatory meetings? What if we are clear on every level of our hospital leadership that a breastfeeding policy is important to us? What if we build a networking system where other women leaders within the company support and engage new women in leadership in a grass-roots and consistent way? What if on a yearly basis the status and company demographics are examined for progress so that we know how the company is progressing? We recognize that the rich spread of ideas and innovation that naturally comes with Diversity in decision-making should then become applied to our diverse patient populations. We want a better build and are making sure that we sit at the table to assure that its being done and done well.
We are US-Acute Care Solutions. We have multiple positions open around the country and we aim to be the Destination of Choice in Emergency Medicine for Women. Come explore our opportunities. Click here to find out more about our company.
- “The Value of Women in the Workforce”, Womenomics Today, Mar 26, 2015
- “Is there a payoff from top-team diversity?”, McKinsey Quarterly, April 2012
- “The Business Benefits of Gender Diversity” Gallup Business Journal, Jan 20, 2014.