Gender Equity, Sexual Harassment in Health Care

REPORTING FROM APA 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – Women in health care are second only to those in arts and entertainment in contacting* the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, according to two founding members of TIME’S UP Healthcare, which was recently launched to address gender inequity and sexual harassment in medicine.

“As a psychiatrist who has had physicians as patients … I’d heard this stuff, and I knew it existed,” said Jessica Gold, MD. But to hear it from people who had choked it down … I understand what it’s like to be a pharma rep and be told that you have to look pretty or wear a thong to get a doctor to look at you.”

In this video, Dr. Gold and Kali D. Cyrus, MD, MPH, sat down at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association and discussed the goals of TIME’S UP Healthcare and the need to bring transgressions – mainly against women – out in the open. The group also wants to advocate for establishing meaningful standards and policies.

“I feel like [psychiatrists are] trained to look for these kinds of dynamics. We should be trained to intervene … My dream is [to address] some of the more subtle microaggressions that happen,” Dr. Cyrus said.

She wants to make sure that all women are equitably represented. We need “a procedure in place where people can voice their concerns.”
All of the group’s founding members are women, and men also need to participate as allies. “There are men who want to mentor women, Dr. Gold said. “We do need men to support us … We also want to hear about their experiences,” Dr. Cyrus said.

Dr. Gold is assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Cyrus is an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and offers consultation services for conflict management of issues related to identity differences.