"You might be the only female urologist in your practice, but you're not the only female urologist in the world, or in the country, or even probably in your state," said Kari Bailey, MD.
In an interview at the 2023 LUGPA Annual Meeting, Kari Bailey, MD, shared the key takeaways from sessions on empowering women in urology and physician use of social media. Bailey is a urologist at AAUrology in Annapolis, Maryland. Her area of special interest is female urology, including incontinence, overactive bladder, and sexual health.
This session was born out of going to meetings previously, and seeing a little bit of a paucity of women represented at the meeting and content for women in urology. So we wanted to develop a conversation not only between female urologists, but also with female leaders in other fields to discuss what it means to be a woman in not only urology, but in these other medical fields, as well. We wanted focus on how we can learn from each other and mentor each other because we are all going through the same thing, so we shouldn’t all be reinventing the wheel.
So our goal at LUGPA this year is to just start the conversation. We want women to be in a room together, talking about shared problems, issues, successes, everything, so that we can help other women in urology, now and in the future, develop relationships with one another—resources—and just open the conversation. So, we're hoping that it starts in the room and then continues outside the room.
I hope attendees of this session realize that there are women in urology and in other industries who are just like them; that there are women who share the same goals, aspirations, and difficulties—that they are not alone. We can rely on each other. You might be the only female urologist in your practice, but you're not the only female urologist in the world, or in the country, or even probably in your state. And we should be relying on one another to grow female representation in the practice. Urology is becoming more and more female dominant as a field. We are going to continue that trend through training and practice, and so we want to make it a field that women feel comfortable in.
Obviously, the general population is well-versed in social media—everyone is linked to some sort of social media, and that's how people are getting their news and communicating, but it's also where they're getting some of their medical knowledge. And so we want to make sure that we're framing the conversation appropriately. Physicians and practitioners should be leading the conversation. We should be the ones getting the information out there because there's a lot of false information. And so that’s a key way we should be using social media.
It is important, as well, to use social media to market yourself, your practice, your group—to make sure that people know where you are and who you are, and know what you can do. It's challenging, though. We're doctors. We didn't necessarily grow up in this social media environment. There are a lot of people who aren't comfortable with social media, or their practices don't have followers. What's the point of putting out a video if nobody's listening? So, I think that it can be challenging to get it off the ground and to find resources that can help you and guide you with your social media presence. And obviously, anytime you're on the internet, people bring up things about privacy and patients and all of that. And it's obviously very important. I think doctors are pretty keen to that. So, I think that it can be done. Doctors can get on social media, share information, share a bit about ourselves and our practice, and really reach a lot of people.