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New AMWA Chapter at the University of Virginia — First Event a Success!

One of the goals for University of Virginia AMWA Chapter’s first semester as a chapter was to highlight the micro-aggressions female medical students and providers can face in the workplace, and subsequently equip our classmates with tools to both handle these issues in the moment as well as report them. We approached this in two ways. First, we collected anonymous stories of micro-aggressions/gender harassment from medical students at UVA, and got an amazing, yet terribly sad, volume of responses. We collected all the stories and put up a display in our student lounge so that our classmates could read the responses and reflect on them. Second, we arranged a panel of three incredible female faculty to speak on micro-aggressions and how they handle them in the workplace. Dr. Beverly Adams, a psychology professor from the College of Arts and Sciences opened up our lecture by discussing the history, definitions, and her personal research on micro-aggressions. This was followed by Dr. Nora Kern and Dr. Sara Rasmussen, two powerhouse female surgeons at UVA discussing their personal experiences with gender inequity as healthcare providers. Our event was attended by members of all classes, and caught the attention of our college deans and directors of education, prompting discussion within our administration about harassment and how we can handle it better as an institution. The UVA chapter hopes that publicizing this event will help other chapters hold similar events and prompt discussion nation-wide!

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