We’re back with another women in medicine episode– this time Shreya and Leah interview their she-ro Dr. Kemi Doll, career coach extraordinaire to women of color in academic medicine. She is breaking down the biggest challenges she’s seen her clients face and how to tackle them!
Written and Produced by: Leah Witt, MD and Shreya Trivedi, MD
Infographic and Cover Art: Shreya Trivedi, MD
Show Notes: Leah Witt, MD
Hosts: Leah Witt, MD, Shreya Trivedi, MD and Matthew Watto MD, FACP
Associate Editor: Emi Okamoto, MD
Showrunners: Leah Witt, MD and Shreya Trivedi, MD
Technical Production: PodPaste
Guest: Kemi Doll, MD
CME Partner: VCU Health CE
Intro, disclaimer, guest bio
Guest one-liner, Picks of the Week
Dr. Doll’s journey into coaching women of color in academic medicine
Top 5 challenges faced by women of color in academic medicine
Solutions to the challenges
Women of Color in Academic Medicine Challenge Pearls
Structural/cultural/interpersonally-mediated racism and sexism underlie any discussion of challenges faced by women of color in academic medicine.
You are already enough! Your institution is immeasurably lucky to have you– the self doubt you have (and is pervasive in academic medicine) was designed to sustain the status quo.
Critically evaluate advice you get (advice from informed believers is most valuable). Abandon the trainee mindset!
Be connected to your purpose through deliberate action – this is the main antidote to burnout.
Challenges Faced by Women of Color in Academic Medicine Show Notes
Overlying it all is structural/cultural/interpersonally-mediated racism and sexism (OK this should be 1 through 500, then we can begin…). “The challenges arise in a system that starts out by telling you that you are not good enough by virtue of who you are and your background.”– Dr. Kemi Doll
Believing that your institution is what defines your value. The problem: the institution’s perspective is always more important than your own. You will end up giving the institution credit (instead of yourself!).
Making decisions based on obligatory gratitude. Definition: the way we express gratitude for our faculty position is through sacrifice (doing things we don’t want to do!).
Over-subscribing to a mentor’s advice: this means conflating a mentor/leader’s interest and enthusiasm in you with their capability to help you get where you want to go in your career
The When/Then paradox! Just gotta get through XYZ then ahhhh life will get easier! BTW this was true for a long time during our medical training. But when you are a faculty, you are on an infinite path.
Settling for less as a way to avoid burnout
Overcome institution over-reverence: Your true value as a faculty member is based on the unique passion/interest that you are bringing. You are the constant, not your institution!
Obligatory gratitude rx: The problem? Your gratitude doesn’t require sacrifice! Ask yourself…what are you ACTUALLY doing with your time? Consider writing down tasks and auditing to ensure they line up with your values/goals (beware the shadow tasks!)
Mentor review: Approach meetings with mentors and leaders as informational interviews. Then evaluate the information and decide if it is useful in making decisions (you’ll then be able to learn from those decisions). Check out Kemi’s informed believers podcast! It is critical to know who you are and what you want before you go into these meetings which will require some quiet reflection about your goals (and shifting out of the trainee mindset). “Nobody knows what you really want for your career but you… Nobody is living your career but you!”
When-Then solution: You have to take yourself seriously first. Don’t give into the culture that the work you care about the most is “the bonus” or is frivolous. When you do that, you’ll find your people (people who don’t just care about chasing gold stars and are focused like you on their purpose).
Burnout advice: Choose your hard. Avoid burnout by being deeply and totally committed to the process of growth and self-discovery. Be connected to your purpose!
Listeners will learn the top 5 challenges faced by women of color in academic medicine (and solutions to tackle them!).
After listening to this episode listeners will…
Understand the role of career coaching in academic medicine
Recognize common challenges faced by women of color in academic medicine
Develop an approach to tackling obstacles to these challenges and learn to find your purpose!
Dr. Doll reports no relevant financial disclosures. The Curbsiders report no relevant financial disclosures.
Trivedi S, Witt L, Watto MF, Doll K.. “#354 Top 5 Challenges Faced by Women of Color in Academic Medicine”. The Curbsiders Internal Medicine Podcast. http://thecurbsiders.com/episode-list September 14, 2022.