Well, it’s been quite a year for women, starting last year, Jan 2017, with the Women’s March, which recognized the many disparities and inequalities for women and other minority groups, both in the workplace and beyond. And then the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, striving to expose and eradicate gender-based harassment, as well as inequalities in professional opportunities, recognition and compensation. In many ways, it’s an exciting, vibrant time for women, whose voices are being heard on the national — and international — stage. History is happening right now, and it’s exciting to be a part of it!
Here at SWIU, we try to do our part as we strive to be an organization that advocates for and supports our fellow women urologist. Today that makes up only 10% of working urologists in the nation. But more are coming down the pike as 25% of our trainees in urology residencies are now women, and 50% of medical students across the country are women. This indicates the further need for women who have worked hard to become successful in their own chosen urological career, to reach out a guiding hand and mentor those who are coming up behind them. Our mission at SWIU is to help provide women urologists — where ever they are on their career path — with the tools and skills necessary to set themselves up for future success through mentorship, professional and leadership development training, and ever-so-important networking, which opens doors for others. SWIU provides an environment to cultivate and nurture professional relationships that prove enlightening and empowering, enabling women to THRIVE! On a personal note, I am very proud to be a part of this organization. And I want to thank all of YOU for being a part of it too, and making SWIU what it is today.
We celebrated another very successful meeting in Las Vegas just last January — our 7th Annual SWIU Professional Development and Clinical Mentoring Conference. This years theme, “A Typical Day in the Life of a General Urologist”, was developed by Program Chair and President-elect, Teresa Beam, MD, who called on national experts to provide practical tips on a wide variety of urological conditions: pain syndromes, stones, BPH, GU malignancies, voiding dysfunction, UTIs, geriatrics, common pediatric issues and more. Our professional development sessions, led by Elaine Rosenblum, founder of ProForm U, addressed the importance of cultivating a highly effective and consistent professional voice, as well as the art of collaborative negotiation, both with our colleagues and patients. We expanded opportunities for residents to practice their presentation skills via both podium and poster presentation sessions this year. It’s so exciting for all to see the meaningful contributions residents are making that further our field of urology. Unique to our program this year was a highly successful “speed mentoring” opportunity and well-received “mock oral boards” session. An early morning yoga class (Lindsey Kerr); healthy policy update (AUA Public Policy Chair, Christopher Gonzalez); career options panel; “book club” by a SWIU member/author (The Big Free, by Martha Boone), and an interactive session relating the Tango to “Lessons for Life” (another SWIU member/author, Jeannette Potts) rounded out our invigorating 2.5-day event. It was another program to be proud of!
And now we are off to the AUA in San Francisco! SWIU will again hold two annual AUA events. The first is the SWIU Networking Reception, which will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:30pm (San Francisco Marriott Marquis; Yerba Buena Salons 1-2). Here we will award this year’s Christina Manthos Mentoring Award to someone who demonstrates extraordinary mentoring skills in supporting the career of a female urologist.
Our second event is our Annual SWIU Breakfast Meeting on Sunday, May 20, 2018 (6:30 – 10:00am; San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate B). We are honored to have Kathleen T O’Loughlin, DMD, MPH, Executive Director of the American Dental Association, as our Keynote Speaker, who will speak from her experience about Achieving Success by Closing the Gender Gap. It should prove to be an enlightening, relevant and invigorating discussion!
Dr Robert C. Flanigan, MD, FACS, AUA President-Elect, will provide us with a timely AUA Update. And we will recognize the well-deserved 2018 SWIU Research Award winners of the prestigious Elizabeth Pickett Research Award and SWIU/SBUR Award for Excellence in Urological Research.
As always, there will be ample time for more networking after the business meeting, for opportunities to get to know more fabulous women in our field! Please come and share in the fun!
Suzette E. Sutherland, MD, MS, FPMRS