Now over at the studios of WHYY, we had a nice conference room with large post-it white pads upon which the three work groups would take up these questions: What were the best ideas? What metrics are needed? What can be done in the short term? In the long term? What can you, yourself commit to doing to further this agenda?
Answer all of them in one hour, include all 6-8 members in your group. Pick a leader and pick a scribe.
I wasn’t ready for this. And I was more ready than most.
I was chosen leader of our group of 6. A crusading nurse practitioner, soon to hold a doctorate of nurse practitionership, volunteered to be scribe. We shared the job of leading.
We introduced everyone and got down to work.
“Okay. Everyone state one ‘best’ idea and how would we measure it.”
We actually came up with quite a few ideas. Some came from the conversations, others were our own.
- Widen and deepen the pipeline through programs that reach down into pre-school and mentor girls into the sciences and finally into medicine.
- Enjoin the ACGME and the AAMC (or some other outside agency with clout, like the Joint Commission for Hospitals) to link accreditation of schools and training programs to progress in gender equity.
- Develop educational programs for communities that begin health literacy in pre-school and include parents and children.
- Build interdisciplinary teams to care for patients.
There were others, but the notes are now on big stickies being transcribed for delegates to munch on.
As for the metrics, those were tough. And to tell the truth, we didn’t have enough time to get to short term and long term projects. No one really showed any specific commitment. So I was worried that our presentation which loomed largely on my shoulders as leader, would not measure up.
Wrong again. Every group came up with good ideas. Metrics were absent, as were the short and long term goals and commitment strategies.
Our moderator summed up the problem: attitudes, access and education. We had hit on all three and then some.
We adjourned. I foraged for lunch and finding none, walked less purposefully back to the hotel. My feet hurt. My spirits deflated. My hopes dashed. I thought I might not return for the afternoon session on women in communications. But I did, and I am really glad I did.
There is so much to tell, you will have to wait for my next post: Women in the Media.