Tell us about your work.
Lately I’ve been engaged in a lot of gender equity work, both scholarship and policy. At the American Medical Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society, we advanced comprehensive gender equity policies, and are now teaming up with AMWA to bring equivalent policy to all 50 states. I have also written and presented on topics related to gender equity, including men as allies, facets of employment and discrimination law as applied to women in healthcare, and leadership and advocacy skills for women in health care.
What helped get you there?
In part, I was inspired by my parents. My father comes from one of the least equitable regions in the world for women (in rural northeast India), and my mother comes from the country that leads the way in gender equity (Iceland). Lately, I’ve been inspired by my female colleagues in law and medicine. Too many to name, but Dr. Julie Silver is certainly number one on that list. I first met her through Twitter three years ago; we eventually began collaborating on projects and I began participating as faculty in two Harvard Medical School CME courses she directs (#HarvardWriters, #SheLeadsHealthcare). We now share articles of mutual interest and bounce ideas off one another nearly every day.
Have there been any interests that you have continued to pursue outside of medicine? Have you been able to combine these with your medical career?
Continued involvement in professional advocacy through the American Medical Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society has been critical in balancing my desire to research and write and my desire for my work to have a greater societal impact. If I can pass resolutions related to issues of national importance, I know those organizations will advocate for those issues at a state and national level. I am also an amateur DJ, though my records have been collecting dust lately.
What advice do you have for students?
Study hard, but don’t lose your passion for medicine! Find the issues you believe strongly in, and look for outlets to advance those issues. AMWA is a great place to start! You don’t have to start by lobbying for those issues at the state capitol or in Washington, D.C.; find ways to get involved in your community, and build on that experience.