Challenges and Triumphs of Women in Oncology

Challenges and Triumphs of Women in Oncology

Jonathan S. Berek, MD, MMedSc, FASCO

Oct 25, 2016

While every issue of ASCO Connection features the expertise, perspective, and achievements of women working in our field, this issue’s cover story is dedicated to examining the challenges still faced by women in medicine. We can all be allies in confronting sexism (and other forms of discrimination) in our profession and in our world—a first step is to listen with an open mind to the experiences of those affected, and to believe them.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the women who contributed to this issue on a variety of topics:

In our cover story, Past Presidents Dr. Sandra M. Swain and Dr. Julie M. Vose, ASCO Vice President of Education, Science, and Professional Development Dr. Jamie H. Von Roenn, and members Dr. Anita Aggarwal, Dr. Smita Bhatia, Dr. Theresa Guise, Dr. Reshma Jagsi, Dr. Miriam A. Knoll, and Dr. Sonali M. Smith discuss their experiences as women in the field of oncology, highlight the critical importance of mentoring, and share practical career advice.

In the latest Current Insights in Oncology column, Dr. Filipa Lynce and Dr. Claudine Isaacs present the advantages and disadvantages of single- and multigene panel testing; this article is an excerpt from the excellent 2016 ASCO Educational Book.

In the conclusion of this year’s Ace Your Interview series, Dr. Knoll offers her advice on job searching in oncology, from the perspective of someone who has just been through the process herself.

Dr. Margaret E. Gatti-Mays and Dr. Jennifer J. Gao share their personal stories of starting their families during their oncology training—a hard decision for any trainee, but especially for women.

JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics Editor in Chief Dr. Debra A. Patt gives an interview on her work, which bridges two disciplines, and encourages submissions to this new journal.

Our Endnote interview features Board of Directors member Dr. Maha Hussain.

As a reminder, voting is currently open in the ASCO Election, with highly qualified candidates running for President-Elect and positions on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. Dr. David Spriggs, the current Nominating Committee Chair, gives insight into the candidate selection process this year. Review the slate along with interviews with the candidates for President-Elect. Make your voice heard before voting closes on December 2, 2016.

November is the season of thanksgiving here in the United States, a time to reflect on the many things we are grateful for as the year draws to a close. As I prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I am grateful for the diversity of our profession and in our ASCO membership. Thank you for reading, for contributing, for commenting online, and for your tireless efforts on behalf of our patients.

Originally published in ASCO Connection, November 2016 "Letter From the Editor"


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