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Nancy Gin, MD, offers 4 steps to elevating more women physician leaders

Nancy Gin MD
Nancy Gin, MD

As health care organizations recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and look to transform care delivery, The Permanente Federation Chief Quality Officer Nancy Gin, MD, called on them to continue to address equity issues, especially those related to gender and advancing women leaders in medicine.

In an opinion column in MedPage Today, Dr. Gin detailed how the pandemic widened the gender gap, noting that the largest gender pay gap in health care exists among physicians and surgeons. And when it came to family care, women clinicians also carried a heavier burden, contributing to high rates of burnout.

“The voices of women physician leaders must be heard in the C-suite,” she wrote, as a way to address the challenges faced by the health care industry as it evolves from pandemic to an endemic state. 

Related story: “PermanenteDocs Chat on the state of women in medicine”

Dr. Gin outlined 4 key steps health organizations can take to “create a more inclusive work environment for women in medicine and empower them to become leaders:”

  1. Include women decision makers when developing pandemic-related recovery strategies
  2. Recruit purposefully and creatively
  3. Adopt policies addressing work-life balance
  4. Move from mentorship to sponsorship

“As companies struggle to keep the few women leaders they have, creative ways to attract and retain talent means focusing on what women need to support their success and engagement,” wrote Dr. Gin, a Federation executive vice president who also serves as as medical director for Quality and Clinical Analysis with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group.

Leadership opportunities, she said, encourage women physicians to stay in medicine and continue to help diversify clinical teams that care for patients from different communities. “We can eliminate health care disparities only if we achieve diversity of the health care team and leadership,” Dr. Gin wrote.

Note: You can read the full column at MedPage Today.

Related story: “ ‘Virtuous cycle’ between research and clinical quality promoted by Nancy Gin, MD, in new commentary”

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