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Organization fights for women pursuing medical careers

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Texas State students have taken matters into their own hands with a new organization dedicated to promoting women’s success in the medical field.

Women in Medicine was initiated in the spring semester of 2017 with the intent to prepare women for the medical industry, create networking opportunities, participate in hands-on experience and empower women in the pursuit of their careers.

“It was extremely important for me to start a club like this because a lot of organizations that have to do with medicine are very broad and don’t really talk about the issues women face in the medical field,” said Marissa Chatman, president and founder of the club.

Chatman said some of the challenges women face in the medical field include balancing a social life with their jobs while often feeling inferior in a seemingly male-dominant profession.

“Not a lot of women are represented in the medical field because it is seen more as a male profession,” said Kareemat Olusesi, exercise science junior and member of the club. “So having a club of women infiltrating and breaking that stigma is great.”

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, more than half of medical school applicants are male. As reported in the 2016-17 data, 48.6 percent of applicants were women and 51.4 percent were men. In the same ten-year data collection period published by AAMC, there has been a constant increase in the number of women applying to the field.

Chatman said more women are starting to break through in the medical field, but there are still a large amount of men and women who make comments about women not belonging in that area.

“A lot of men still believe the field is too hard for us, and we won’t have time for it,” Chatman said. “However, women are starting to apply to medical school more and more, and we are seeing more women doctors, so the stereotype of only men being great doctors is starting to be broken down, and it is important to keep iterating that.”

Women in Medicine contributes to creating an atmosphere for members to connect with female professionals through volunteering and offers a program that allows upperclassmen to study alongside other physicians as apprentices. Members receive opportunities to participate in fundraising for non-profit foundations benefitting women.

In addition, the organization holds study sessions to prep members for the Medical College Admission Test, which is a crucial step toward getting into medical school.

“Having an organization that helps you get a better understanding of where you need to be as well as having other people there who are in the same boat as you who encourage each other and help set each other straight is great,” Olusesi said.