By Julia Close, MD
The first time I attended the ASCO Annual Meeting was near the end of my second year of fellowship, close to 10 years ago. The details of all the exciting advances in oncology presented there are hazy now—although I am sure I gained valuable clinical knowledge that I use to this day. What I do recall clearly is a session on work-life balance. The presentation included three individuals in different career paths, including a woman working in academic medicine. At that time, I was pregnant with my second child and wondering how I would juggle the start of my new career and my young family. As I listened, I was inspired to hear from another woman who had managed her family while maintaining a career very similar to one I was hoping to have. Even today, I still reflect on the tips I learned from her presentation.
I have continued to seek these sessions at the ASCO Annual Meeting, although my goals have shifted. As I have become more aware of the way gender influences roles in the workplace, I have sought out content aimed at addressing issues for women in the workforce, beyond work-life balance.
At the Annual Meeting 2 years ago, the ASCO iPlanner app announced to me an opportunity to visit the Women’s Networking Center and attend a few sessions there. I attended sessions that allowed me to listen to panel discussions on topics such as mentorship and advancement with woman in leadership positions. There were ample opportunities for those in the audience to share experiences with the group or ask questions of panel members.
We look forward to facilitating even more conversations about gender in medicine during the Women’s Networking Center’s third year. It has been an honor to be a part of the ASCO Women in Oncology Work Group for the past year and to help plan the sessions that will be offered in the center for the 2017 Annual Meeting. We have worked to provide a well-rounded curriculum with something for every woman, regardless of your work setting, track, or years of experience.
Registration is not required for planned sessions in the Women's Networking Center; however, advance registration is required for the Mentoring Office Hours. Women are welcome to stop by at any time to unwind, meet with colleagues, and grab a cup of coffee. We hope that you will join us!
Women’s Networking Center Hours (Room S502, South Building, McCormick Place)
- Friday, June 3, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
- Saturday, June 4, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
- Sunday, June 5, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
- Monday, June 6, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Sessions in the Women's Networking Center
Friday, June 2
- 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Mentoring Office Hours (registration required)
- 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Mentoring Office Hours (registration required)
Saturday, June 3
- 11:30 AM – 12:15 PM: Lost in Transition: Mid-Career Planning (Tatiana Prowell, MD, and Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD)
- 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM: Superwoman Sometimes Says “No” (Sue Cohn, MD, FASCO, and Lynn Schuchter, MD, FASCO)
- 2:15 PM – 4:00 PM: Speaking with Confidence (Reci Schmellick, speaking coach)
- 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM: Dealing with Harassment in the Workplace (Jill Gilbert, MD, and Tari King, MD
Sunday, June 4
- 9:45 AM – 10:30 AM: Conflict Resolution (Carol Aghajanian, MD, and Julie Brahmer, MD, FASCO)
- 10:45 AM – 11:30 AM: Salary Disparities: The Art of Negotiation (Dawn Hershman, MD, FASCO, and Reshma Jagsi, MD)
- 11:45 AM – 12:30 PM: Navigating Bias (Maha Hussain, MD, FASCO, Lidia Schapira, MD, FASCO, Sonali Smith, MD, and Sandra Wong, MD, FASCO)
- 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Building Relationships: Identifying the Women in Your Village (Julia Close, MD, Claire Hiles, MD, Yvonne Lin, MD, and Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD)
Monday, June 5
- 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Mentoring Office Hours (registration required)
- 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM: Mentoring Office Hours (registration required)
- 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM: ASCO’s Female Leaders: How to Manage it All (Sandra Swain, MD, FASCO, and Lori Pierce, MD, FASCO)
- 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Leadership Styles (Shiva Gohari Fritsch, MBA)
- 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Promoting Women: What We Can Learn from Industry (Mary Christian, PharmD, MBA, and Cathy Pietanza, MD)
Dr. Close is a clinical associate professor at the University of Florida, where she is the program director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. In addition to education, she is focused on performance improvement as the assistant chief of medical service in the Gainesville VA Medical Center.