“It's important that everyone understands that once women move up the ranks from becoming residents to fellows to attending, and when they're attendings if they move up in the leadership, that they remain available for questions, guidance, mentorship, [and] sponsorship,” says Jennifer Miles-Thomas, MD.
In this video, Jennifer Miles-Thomas, MD, FPMRS, discusses some of the challenges that women in urology face and the importance of representation for mentorship and support. Miles-Thomas participated in a session called “Empowering women in urology” at the 2023 LUGPA Annual Meeting and is the president and CEO of Urology of Virginia as well as an assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
I think one of the largest challenges is just representation; you can't be what you can't see. Even though there are a lot more women coming through the ranks in medical school and in training for urology, it's still hard to relate sometimes to people who are very different than you. I think all of us need to understand that diversity is important. You do need to have great relationships with people who are completely different than you in order to become a full well-rounded person and understand the world around you. But sometimes you'd like to make a connection with someone who may have similar background to you, or have similar life experiences. It's important that everyone understands that once women move up the ranks from becoming residents to fellows to attending, and when they're attendings if they move up in the leadership, that they remain available for questions, guidance, mentorship, [and] sponsorship. I hope that that's something we can demonstrate that this is what we want to do. Our lives may have been very different 10, 20 years ago when we trained, but doesn't mean their life has to be the same. We can help give women in urology other avenues and ways to start those conversations to change things for the future.
This transcription has been edited for clarity.