Events at OUWB help celebrate Women in Medicine Month
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Top, from left, Sheala Jafry, M.D., Lori Mausi, M.D., and Deidre Hurse, Ph.D. Bottom, from left, Rena Seltzer, Lori LaCivita, Ph.D., and Deirdre Pitts, Ph.D.

September is Women in Medicine Month and in conjunction, several events are lined up at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Women in Medicine Month is an annual celebration held each September to highlight the accomplishments of women in medicine and science.

Per the American Medical Association, the purpose of Women in Medicine Month is to:

  • Serve as a platform to showcase the accomplishments of women in medicine including physicians/clinicians, biomedical scientists, educators, and leaders.
  • Highlight advocacy needs related to professional concerns of women in medicine and health issues impacting women patients.
  • Promote career success opportunities specific for advancing gender equity. 

At OUWB, events throughout the month are being led by OUWB’s Center for Excellence in Medical Education (CEME) and are being presented by OUWB faculty members.

“It’s an opportunity to recognize women who have done, or are doing, great things in medicine,” said Ann Voorheis-Sargent, Ph.D., director, CEME. “So, we try to have programming that’s generally geared towards that theme.”

The three events are as follows:

Sept. 13 — The Glass Ceiling: Broken, Shattered or Merely Dented?

Presented by Lori LaCivita, Ph.D., the intent of this virtual webinar is to examine whether individuals of different genders and race can overcome barriers by utilizing emotional intelligence and transformational leadership behaviors.

“Our beliefs about ourselves are important in shaping all kinds of important decisions, such as what colleges we apply to, which career paths we choose, and whether we are willing to contribute ideas in the workplace or try to compete for a promotion,” according to a program description.

“Gender stereotypes distort our views of both ourselves and others and that is why the glass ceiling has been so impenetrable over the years. This may be especially troubling for women, since buying into those stereotypes could be creating a bleak self-image that is setting them back professionally.”

Sept. 15 — Toxic: A Black Woman’s Story – Facilitating Conversations Surrounding Bias, Microaggressions, and Health Disparities

This interactive session will include a screening of “Toxic: A Black Woman's Story” and explore how structural racism affects Black women in and outside of the exam room and contributes to infant and maternal outcomes. Strategies to address instances of microaggressions in the patient experience will be discussed and shared.

It is being presented 1 – 3 p.m. virtually by Deidre Hurse, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies; Sheala Jafry, M.D., assistant dean, Diversity & Inclusion; Lori Mausi, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology; and Deirdre Pitts, Ph.D., associate dean for Academic, Faculty Affairs, and Diversity & Inclusion.

Sept. 28 — Authority, Voice, and Influence for Women

“Even when women have titles and roles that confer authority, they are more likely to be interrupted, questioned, and challenged than their male colleagues,” states a program description of the presentation that will be delivered by Rena Seltzer. 

“At the same time, speech and behavior that is considered appropriate for a man in leadership may be criticized as overly aggressive or intimidating when coming from a woman leader. Research on intersectional identities complicates the picture further, with people responding differently based on characteristics including perceived race, LGBTQ+ status, ethnicity, and other differences.”

For all of the sessions, participants are provided with objectives that identify what they will learn from the panelists. As an example, participants in the Sept. 28 session will be able to use the technique of “stepping to their side” to disarm dissenters in discussing controversial topics.

The events are open to anyone. Register by clicking here.

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at

To request an interview, visit the OUWB Communications & Marketing webpage.

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