International Women's Day A Time To Celebrate the Achievements of Women in Medicine

7 Mar 2015

On the eve of International Women’s Day, AMA President, A\Prof Brian Owler, said the AMA wants to highlight the magnificent achievements of women in medicine, and pay tribute to the profession in the 21st century for its hallmarks of fairness and gender equality.

A/Prof Owler said that the medical profession has made huge advances in promoting the careers of women doctors, and is an example for other professions in its efforts to make medical workplaces safe and rewarding for all doctors.

“There are more women doctors in the workforce than ever before and, in 2013, there were more female than male medical students in Australia and New Zealand.

“Women doctors have reached the peak leadership roles in the profession – in administration, research, training, Colleges, surgery, and general practice.

“The AMA has had two recent women Federal Presidents, and women hold and have held senior Federal and State executive positions. The same applies with AMA Doctors in Training and the Australian Medical Students’ Association.

“Medicine is a rewarding career for women, and women doctors in Australia are achieving great success.”

A/Prof Owler said the AMA does not condone sexual harassment, workplace bullying, or any other intimidating or threatening behaviour towards women doctors in medical workplaces.

“We are disturbed by reports today of an alleged ‘scourge of sexual harassment’ in Australian hospitals,” A/Prof Owler said.

“This is not my experience or the experience of my colleagues who work in both the public and private hospital systems across the country.

“There may be a small number of cases – as is the case in most professions – but there are processes in place to identify and punish any offenders.

“The AMA encourages any women doctors who have experienced harassment or bullying to speak up and seek help. The profession will not tolerate sexual harassment in any form in the workplace.

“We do not support the reported advice from a senior female doctor that the next generation of female doctors should submit or give in to bullying or sexual advances to protect their careers.

“That is reckless and irresponsible advice that does not belong anywhere in contemporary Australian society.

“The AMA is proud of the achievements of women doctors and we encourage the increasing feminisation of the medical workforce – and we will do all we can to ensure women have safe and encouraging workplaces and rewarding careers as doctors,” A/Prof Owler said.


7 March 2015


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