October 2020 Newsletter

In This Issue

Letter from the Chair: First Town Hall

Loice A. Swisher, MD FAAEM
Chair, WiEM Section

On October 13, 2020, our section held its first Town Hall meeting. Since the COVID pandemic prevented us from meeting in person, this was a chance to meet our council, explain our structure, and share our vision. Perhaps it might be an even better way to reach our membership as we are now up to 882 members! In past meetings, we have had to show up at specific times, but the virtual Zoom format allows asynchronous viewing at a later time. Now those who are scheduled for a shift or have work-life balance conflicts can still catch up on section business.  

The three things I am proudest of thus far are: 

1. Our Vision Statement

The council has written a vision statement to guide the purpose and activities of our section. 

The AAEM Women in Emergency Medicine Section is comprised of members identifying across the gender spectrum and it is our mission to: 

  • Advocate for measures to reduce or eliminate gender-related bias, including gender parity in salary and equity with promotions. 

  • Aim to provide increased leadership opportunities within AAEM and the WiEM Section. 

  • Recognize and amplify the accomplishments of women. 

  • Provide gender-specific resources for professional advancement, work life balance, and different career trajectories. 

  • Commit to providing greater depth of professional connections and mentorship across a career timeline. 

2. Our Free AMWA Membership Benefit

This benefit allows any of our members, male or female, to join AMWA as a nonvoting member. We can take advantage of mentoring in the wider house of medicine and get involved in the AMWA initiatives. 

3. The numbers of new, diverse female faces entering AAEM leadership within this section. 

There are 10 women on council. These are chair, chair-elect, secretary/treasurer, four councilors, an AAEM/RSA representative and the two past co-chairs. In addition, there is a lead and co-lead of each of the three working groups (education, leadership, and advocacy). This brings the total to 16 women who have titled a leadership position within the section. 

Please take the opportunity to view the recorded Town Hall meeting. Give us feedback for future Town Halls.  

Watch Town Hall


Loice A. Swisher, MD FAAEM
Chair, AAEM Women in EM Section
pronouns- any, name preferred

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WiEM Section Leadership Pipeline Interest Form

We would like to provide more leadership opportunities and skills development for our AAEM Women in EM Section members. The first step is to identify those who have interest in these opportunities so we can create mentorship and programs. If you are interested in the WiEM Section or AAEM leadership pathways now or in the future, please complete this form. 

Interest Form

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Member Spotlight: NanaEfua Afoh-Manin, MD MPH 

Dr. Afoh-Manin is also known as Dr. A or Dr. Nana - is no stranger to struggle. As her mother told her at an early age, you have to move mountains one pebble at a time. 

As COVID ravaged California, she wasn’t surprised to see who was bearing the brunt. People of color.

The highs and lows of her life’s path prepared her to lead during this crisis. She has learned to bring her authentic self to meet challenges head on. She and her teams have been leading efforts to care for the uninsured or underinsured in low-income communities. “Once we are settled in privilege, we may overlook to how telemedicine and drive through testing are only available to those who have computers and cars.” Often, well intended policies, continue to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots. It is important that we begin to understand how systemic injustice impacts all decisions made around health care delivery and equity. 

Dr. Afoh-Manin and her team have recently been awarded a $240K award from the Ballmer Group (LA Clippers Owners) and a partnership with Council District 8 in Los Angeles that will allow her team to provide direct services to an additional 10,000 more residents in South LA over the next 12 weeks. The organization is amid a 3-week crowdfunding campaign to raise additional operational funds and expand our minority volunteer health task force and student loan debt relief fund for frontline workers and providers. All donations during this period will be matched. 

Please show up, get involved, volunteer. Dr. A is asking individual supporters, friends, and allies to host Watch Parties of the Amazon Prime’s Regular Heroes docu-series and spread the word. Her and her foundations social media contacts and press highlights are shared below. 


Dr. Nana Breaking Bias:Thru Medicine on KTLA & on Amazon Prime's Regular Heroes

Press Highlights

Social Media Accounts




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October Virtual Mentoring Sessions for IMGs

October 22, 2020 | 8:00pm ET

The WiEM Section is starting a new virtual mentoring series to specifically address concerns facing international medical graduates (IMGs) interested in emergency medicine. IMGs face unique obstacles when it comes to matching in emergency medicine residencies, including stigma, immigration issues, and limited access to emergency medicine mentors. Compounding these issues are the racial and ethnic discrimination many IMGs face as minorities. The goal of this series is to address some of these specific issues, offer advice and a pathway for mentorship, and provide representation of IMGs who have successfully transitioned into careers as U.S. EM physicians.   

Each month will feature an expert panel and Q&A session. Topics for the fall sessions will focus on issues related to ERAS application. 

Our next session is scheduled for Thursday, October 22 at 8:00pm ET | 7:00pm CT | 6:00pm MT | 5:00pm PT
Yes, the day after ERAS opens to make sure you’re prepared before getting all the interview invites.

Moderators: Joelle Brown and Sara Misthal, MD FAAEM

This month’s panelists

Mary Ann Edens, MD FAAEM
Program Director of LSU Health Emergency Medicine Residency

Sophia Ahmed, MD PGY-3
UT Health San Antonio

Natalia Truong, PGY-2
RWJ Barnabas Health

Sessions are open to members of AAEM WiEM Section who register prior to the event. (Hes for Shes are welcome to join the WiEM Section!).

Register Today


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November Airway Storytelling Event

November 12, 2020 | 8:00pm ET

Plan to spend an hour or so with your fellow AAEM Women in EM Section members telling stories about our lives. COVID has physically separated us; however, we can still come together. Since 2017, the Scientific Assembly Airway event has been one of the best attended events. We love to tell stories. And…. emergency medicine has the best stories.  

Come hear Cynthia Purvaince’s ‘A Unicorn Like Me’ and Loice Swisher’s ‘My Mansion of Ghost’. Sign up to tell your story and if you are not sure, you can sign up in the chat that night! 

These are approximately 3-5 minutes HIPPA-complaint stories by EM docs about being an EM docs. The stories can be funny, surprising, heartbreaking, typical, or unusual but all should be aware of respect to patients and to other specialties. 

Register Today


Submit a Topic

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Leadership Work Group: Resource of the Month

What is your Leadership Style?  

We will be featuring a resource, publication, or video aimed at developing your leadership skills. The first resource is a short Leadership Assessment Style Quiz.

Learn Your Leadership Style

Did you know your leadership style tailors how you organize and lead teams and groups? Discovering how your lead is one of the first steps in better understanding your leadership capacity and skills.  

Do you have a leadership resource you'd like to share?  

Please email smithkj1@einstein.edu.  
Kristyn J. Smith, DO 
PGY-4 Resident Physician at Einstein Healthcare Network 


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Call for EM Residency and Medical Education Academic Leaders 

The WiEM Section would like to create a platform for EM residency and medical education academic leaders. We hope to create an intimate forum that serves as a resource for questions, advice, and promotes discussion of different topics that pertain to education. If you are a program director, assistant/associate program director or clerkship director, please consider answering the following survey.  

Deadline to complete the survey: November 3, 2020 

Apply Now

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Free Section Benefit — AMWA Membership  

The WiEM Section has arranged for a free non-voting membership with the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). This fantastic benefit allows our members access to all AMWA’s mentorship and leadership programs with women in the wider house of medicine. In addition, our members can participate and take leadership in AMWA’s initiatives, and working groups such as gender equity, diversity, and inclusion and "Need Her Science Campaign".

This is open to both male and female; students, residents, and faculty. 

Click here to learn more about the benefits AMWA has to offer. Log in to your AAEM account and visit the AAEM Member Center to activate your AMWA membership. If you have any problems accessing your free AMWA benefit or wish to learn how you can be more involved send an email to wiemsection@list.aaem.org


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Women's Wisdom: Our Journey in Emergency Medicine Podcast — Featuring Vonzella Bryant, MD FAAEM

In this episode, Faith C. Quenzer, DO, emergency medicine research fellow at UC San Diego and past AAEM/RSA At-Large Director, and Adria Ottoboni, MD FAAEM, Associate Professor at Kern Medical UCLA, speak with Vonzella Bryant, MD FAAEM — our WiEM Section President-Elect. Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine where she directed the medical student education in emergency medicine. In June she was appointed Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.  

Listen Now

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Tennessee Chapter Division of AAEM Election

Congratulations to our four Women in EM Section members on the Tennessee Chapter Division of AAEM Board of Directors recent election! 

  • Immediate Past President: Mary Jane Brown, MD FAAEM 
  • At-Large Director: Pamela A. Ross, MD FAAEM 
  • Student Representative: Anantha Singarajah 

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Recent WiEM Section Publications 

Common Sense Issue: September/October 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis 

Social EM: What is it and Why it Matters
Social EM & Population Health Interest Group Report
Megan Healy MD FAAEM

A Novel Committee on a Very Important Directive 
Ethics Committee Report 
Jennifer Gemmill, MD FAAEM 

Mothering in the Time of COVID 
Women in Emergency Medicine Section Report 
Trupti Shah, MD 

Making Point of Care Ultrasound Accessible for All 
Emergency Ultrasound Section Report 
Melissa Myers MD FAAEM; Alexis Salerno MD FAAEM 

2020 Graduates: You Don’t Have to Go it Alone After Residency! 
Young Physicians Section Report 
Cara Kanter MD FAAEM 

Resiliency in Medicine 
Young Physicians Section Report 
Danielle Good Rich MD FAAEM

Gratitude and Appreciation Amidst Chaos and Uncertainty: Awaken Humanity at Work
Wellness Committee
Al’ia Alvarez Al’ai Alvarez, MD FAAEM and Robert Lam, MD FAAEM

Every issue of Common Sense offers an opportunity for our Women in Emergency Medicine Section membership to publish an article. If you have a topic you personally wish to write about for the WiEM Section within Common Sense contact Dr. Marianne Haughey directly at mthaughey@yahoo.com. Dr. Haughey coordinates the Section’s article submissions.  

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