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Press Release

Women in Medicine: Promoting Research and Collaboration

School of Medicine’s Office of Faculty Development holds annual day to support women faculty

STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 29, 2012 – Since Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive an M.D. degree in the United States in 1849, women have had a long yet progressive road to equality and success in medicine. At the Stony Brook University School of Medicine’s 6th Annual Women in Medicine (WIM) Research Day, some of the school’s women faculty came together to share their successes as women physician-scientists and discuss continued challenges.

Sponsored by the Office of Faculty Development, the April 25 event included a poster session featuring the latest research by faculty.

Assembled at Stony Brook’s Women in Medicine Research Day are the program leaders and  poster awardees, from top/left: Elza Mylona, Ph.D, Department of Preventive Medicine, and Associate Dean, Office of Faculty Development; Christy Beneri, D.O., Department of Pediatrics, and Event Chair; and Ann-Leslie Zaslav, M.D., Department of Pathology. From bottom/left: Silvia Spitzer, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (faculty poster winner); Catherine Kier, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, and Angela D’Souza (medical student poster winner).

Topics included clinical research related to patient care with respect to respiratory viral testing, radiation exposure, and diabetes screening, as well as basic science research about genetic testing for cancers, and epidemiologic studies examining race differences and cancer. The program also featured a panel discussion on the progress of women in academic medicine, and a group discussion centered on ways to advance women in research areas and build collaborative partnerships within School of Medicine departments.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association, the number of women physicians in medicine has steadily increased and women physicians do hold some leadership positions in academic medicine nationwide. However, among medical school faculty nationally, women continue to be underrepresented at the rank of full professor and in leadership positions, in comparison to men.

An outgrowth of Stony Brook’s WIM program are additional training sessions and programs to help advance and promote women within academic medicine. One program held quarterly is “Building Bridges.” Developed by Stony Brook’s WIM Committee, Building Bridges is a forum for faculty to network within and outside their departments.

According to Elza Mylona, Ph.D, Associate Dean, Office of Faculty Development, upcoming topics during Building Bridges sessions will range from professional development, financial planning, stress reduction, balancing life/family and work, and the tenure tract.

During the fall 2012 semester, WIM faculty will hold a dinner for students. Mentoring will be the theme of the program. The dinner will present a unique opportunity for students to better understand the challenges women face in academic medicine.

The office of Faculty Development at Stony Brook University School of Medicine is dedicated to promoting faculty development and enrichment. The overall goal of the office is to develop and implement programs that will assist Stony Brook faculty across all ranks and professional roles to achieve professional fulfillment and enhance their capacity as leaders in education, research, clinical practice and administration.