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Taking the stage: a development programme for women speakers in emergency medicine
  1. Kharmene L Sunga1,
  2. Dara Kass2
  1. 1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kharmene L Sunga, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA; Sunga.Kharmene{at}


Female physicians in the USA achieve associate and full professor rank at numbers disparate to their representation within emergency medicine (EM). The authors describe a novel curriculum aimed at developing women speakers as a step on the journey towards academic recognition. In this pilot programme, four female physicians at a single academic emergency department participated in a year-long Speaker Development Programme (SDP), and all presented in at least one national EM conference at SDP completion. Participants reported improved speaking skills, confidence and drive to present externally. Elements to success were mentor engagement, encouragement by the departmental chair and creation of a growth and belonging mindset within the cohort. Future steps include creating a framework for maintaining the SDP beyond the pilot phase, such as ensuring access to curriculum materials, and retaining an experienced external mentor over time.

  • emergency department
  • education
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests DK is the editor-in-chief of the FemInEM website and received a monetary prize from SAEM after acceptance of the SDP proposal at the 2016 Annual Meeting.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was deemed exempt from review by the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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