When the gender discrimination lawsuit settled with the University at Buffalo in 2007, I agreed to retire from the faculty (with my full retirement benefits like lifetime health and retention of my title although I could not use “emeritus” meaning with merit after my title of Full Professor of Otolaryngology and Pediatrics). So there went my academic career. Or so I thought.
Medicine is divided into two camps. The “elite” medical school faculty who belong to an institution that is responsible to teach, research, build programs and see patients and the rest of the medical community–those doctors who care for the vast majority of patients (a/k/a “schleppers”). Most, but not all, community based doctors usually do not participate in academic activities such as research and lectures.
So as I licked my wounds and decided to put behind me my academic career which had already yielded 100 published papers and book chapters, two books and scores of national and international talks and lectures, I pursued advocacy and started to blog and to build a help center for women physicians, Women MD Resources. And my practice continued to grow.
Try as I might, I couldn’t stop myself from asking (and trying to answer) those nagging research questions. I couldn’t stay away from teaching. And I was recruited into service through the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). So I was back in the academic game, just in a different ballpark. Highly engaged in Women in Otolaryngology, new connections landed me my latest and most intriguing assignment.
Former president of the AAO-HNS, J. Regan Thomas, MD, Chair of Otolaryngology (ENT) at the University of Illinois asked me to speak at their academic year kickoff, Louis B. Scaramella lecture. Regan wanted something that would be research oriented with a bit of “women in medicine” thrown in. A tall order.
Next post: The 2013 Louis B. Scaramella Lecture: “Where Science Meets Real Life: A Feminists Journey to Unlocking the Secrets of the Tonsils”