AMWA Resident Division Past President, Dr. Kanani Titchen, a pediatric resident from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital-Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is being awarded a $25,000 honorarium to jumpstart her career and support her work in the area of human sex trafficking, an initiative she helped spearhead in AMWA.
Dr. Titchen was chosen from over 200 resident doctors nationwide who were nominated and screened through Medelita’s “right fit” survey. Among them were association presidents, non-profit founders, authors, professors, and entrepreneurs. Medelita, a company that designs performance lab coats and scrubs wanted to highlight physicians whom they felt had found the ‘right fit’ in their careers and in their personal causes. “As we engage this generation of modern residents, innovative thinking by medical educators and physicians-in-training is required,” noted Michael A. Gisondi, M.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine.
Dr. Titchen is a former actress who chose medicine as a second career. Her acting career also included teaching children to express themselves. Now that Dr. Titchen cares for children at the bedside, she urges physicians, residents and medical students nationwide to look for signs of child sex trafficking and be front line responders to the human trafficking problem in this country.
“It is really unusual for residents to be recognized nationally and with a significant honorarium to pursue personal causes and to repay medical school debt. The Medelita H.E.R.O. honorarium is the first recognition of the intense, unremitting, unforgiving schedule of residents and the amount of work we put in. I’m grateful that someone is seeing our potential and rewarding it. This motivates me to stay true to my passion for social justice and true to my ‘right fit’ for helping children,” said Dr. Titchen.
“Recognizing the human side of medicine is critical to motivate the medical millennial generation and to show appreciation for aspiring young physicians,” added Eliza Lo Chin, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Director of AMWA.
This is part of a trend in medicine today – combining clinical expertise with global community leadership particularly in the medical millennial generation. The American Medical Women’s Association supports many medical students and residents in these endeavors. Each year, through the American Women’s Hospitals Service (AWHS), a program of AMWA, medical students and residents can apply for travel grants to serve abroad in underserved communities. In addition, through the Anne C. Carter Global Health Fellowship, AMWA students spend two years as global health fellows, culminating in a medical service learning trip to Uganda.
“We encourage our young physicians to get involved in global health, advocacy, and social justice causes. AMWA provides a unique forum for support and networking that allows our leaders to pursue these interests. Dr. Titchen embodies the true spirit and the right balance of passion and leadership. This honor is one of many that she will achieve on her career path, “ said Farzanna Haffizulla, M.D., F.A.C.P., President of AMWA.
“These top residents highlight what inspires the confidence and aptitude of individuals entering all medical specialties,” said Medelita founder, Lara Francisco, PA-C. “Medelita is proud and grateful to support Dr. Titchen’s goals as a physician activist. Having worked 10 years in emergency medicine, I feel that I may have missed opportunities to help many children. I am one of the clinicians that could benefit from her educational endeavors,” concluded Francisco.
Experts predict a shortage of 90,000 U.S. physicians by 2020. The personal stories of millennial physicians like Dr. Titchen help to motivate others to find their “right fit” priority despite many sacrifices made. In addition to Dr. Titchen winning, two other AMWA residents were finalists for the 2014 Medelita H.E.R.O. honorarium including:
Dr. Dyani Loo, Psychiatry, New Mexico – Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Loo developed a passion for addressing health care access and mental health in needy areas around the world and learned how to empower disenfranchised populations.
Dr. Samantha Hill, Jefferson Medical College/duPont Hospital for Children Pediatric Residency Program – Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Hill wants to work in a rural area and specialize in adolescent medicine. She hopes to open her own adolescent clinic in her home state of Georgia.
A majority of the nominees for the award are repaying huge debts, starting families on a young resident’s typical $45,000-a-year government salary and taking new loans for child-care. The average young physician resident faces debt estimated to be more than $160,000. Yet finding the “right fit” for their profession and their personal causes is still what drives these young doctors.
The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization that functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. We achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise and mentoring and through building strategic alliances. As the vision and voice of women in medicine, AMWA empowers women to lead in improving health for all, within a model that reflects the unique perspective of women. In April 2015, AMWA will be celebrating its centennial anniversary in Chicago, Illinois where Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen founded the organization, now the oldest multi-specialty association of women physicians. Visit: www.amwa-doc.org.
Medelita, founded in 2008, is changing the way that healthcare professionals think about their professionalism and their uniform by upgrading the traditional lab coat and scrub set in every conceivable way. The brand revolves around contemporary designs, the highest quality performance fabrics, finishing details, functionality and fit. Medelita believes there is a strong connection between appearance, confidence, poise and success. The company was founded by a licensed physician assistant who demanded more from the existing selection of frumpy clothes that she was forced to wear. Visit: www.medelita.com.
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