Women in Anesthesiology is an independent anesthesiology organization consisting of women of every color. Injustice felt by one of us is felt by all of us.
We recognize that our specialty of anesthesiology is not immune to the inequalities experienced by the black community. We recognize that pregnant black women are less likely to receive a labor epidural or to receive the preferred anesthetic for cesarean delivery (1). We recognize that black children are less likely to have a parent present at the induction of anesthesia or to receive antianxiety medications before surgery (2). We recognize that black children and adults sometimes receive inferior pain management (3, 4). We recognize that some medical professionals hold false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites (5). As anesthesiologists, we are ethically bound to address these inequalities and serve all patients with the best evidence-based compassionate care that consciously accounts for the impact of racism on health.
Black women anesthesiologists are vital to the future of anesthesiology. The greatest percentage of young, nonwhite anesthesiologists are women, and 7.2% of women anesthesiologists are black (6). Black women are leaders in clinical medicine, from anesthesia residents to division chairs. We recognize their resilience as they face implicit and explicit biases at work, disparities in pay and academic time, and a lack of equitable mentorship as they conduct the rigorous practice of medicine (6). Women in Anesthesiology is committed to support the equitable professional development of women of color and to amplify their voices.
We denounce the acts of overt violence against the black community. We also recognize the acts that occur daily in subtle, tiresome ways through callous, offhand remarks or through the silence of colleagues and leaders during states of crisis such as this.
As an organization founded by, counseled by, and in service to people of color, we stand in solidarity against racism in all its forms. We stand firmly against racial discrimination through individual actions or institutional policies. We forge onward to seek equity at work and at home for women anesthesiologists, our patients, and our communities near and far.
(1) Lange https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0146000517300484?via%3Dihub
(2) Baetzel https://journals.lww.com/anesthesia-analgesia/Fulltext/2019/10000/Adultification_of_Black_Children_in_Pediatric.31.aspx
(3) Goyal https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2441797
(4) Lee https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735675719303912?via%3Dihub
(5) Hoffman https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4843483/
(6) Francis https://journals.lww.com/anesthesiaclinics/Fulltext/2018/05630/Minority_Women_in_Anesthesiology.6.aspx
Message from the President This newsletter comes after a long hiatus for Women in Anesthesiology, and a tough year for many of us personally. There is no doubt that 2020 was a life-changing year in so many ways. The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched us to our limit, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Long-overdue social justice movements, […]Read More
October 2019 – Issue 2 Message from the President Amy Schultz Pearson, MD Greetings, Women in Anesthesiology supporters! We hope you are all gearing up for a landmark American Society of Anesthesiologists conference in Orlando next month. Women in Anesthesiology is once again hosting its Annual Meeting the day before ASA kicks off, October 18, […]Read More
We are highlighting Dr Katherine Seligman, MD, anesthesiologist and researcher, whose work was recently highlighted on the front cover of Anesthesiology. Well done, Dr Seligman and team! Katherine Seligman, MD Assistant Professor University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada How did you get interested in research? My interest in Obstetric Anesthesia and research started in medical […]Read More
Congratulations to Dr. Rekha Chandrabose on her appointment to Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UCSD, Dept. of Anesthesiology. The founder and past president of WIA, she is a mentor and sponsor, as well as a fierce advocate for these values within the broader health care system. She currently serves on the Advisory […]Read More
Dr. Harriet W. Hopf, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology, received the University of Utah’s Linda K. Amos Award for Distinguished Service to Women last month. https://attheu.utah.edu/facultystaff/fostering-womens-growth-and-achievement/Read More