3 ways to retain female physicians

Although the number of female physicians has increased over the years, female cardiologists are still in the minority, representing only 13% of cardiologists. Martha Gulati, MD, chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix and Physician Executive Director for the Banner – University Medicine Cardiovascular Institute.Gulati offers several ways healthcare leaders can attract and retain more female physicians to any specialty:

1. Offer family-friendly flexibility to all
Increasingly, work-life balance matters as much to male physicians as it does to females. Instead of scheduling meetings during times when parents need to drop off or pick up their children, Gulati suggests mid-day meetings when everyone is likely to be available.

"Or take a poll and ask what will work best," she says. "Or make it possible for them to call in. Just because things were done a certain way 20 or 30 years ago doesn't mean they need to be done that way now."

2. Balance leadership
"Don't assume women don't want leadership roles even if they are in a time when they're having children," Gulati says. "There are many women who are ready to step up to the plate."

3. Provide equal pay for equal work
"We know nationwide that women are significantly underpaid compared to their male colleagues," Gulati says. "I hear over and over again from women of all ages that they'll find out that they're underpaid, and it makes them feel undervalued. When you start feeling undervalued, you don't enjoy your job anymore or you start looking elsewhere.

"It costs a lot to recruit a new person. So make sure [women] know they are being rewarded and that their work is valued," she says.

Source: HealthLeaders Media