As on organisation, Level aims to engage medical students, medical professionals, faculty, and regulatory bodies in a discussion of gender based issues in medical education and training, including but not limited to:
Gender awareness in patient-doctor, doctor-doctor and doctor-community interactions
Barriers to female presence, participation and leadership in all stages of medical training and practice
Broader gender issues relevant to the health and medical sector including abortion law reform
Level aims to change the conversation around women in medicine, but we strongly believe that in order for progress to be achieved, everyone, including men, needs to work together to create gender equality, for the benefit of all sexes. We want to challenge society’s views of masculinity, and the issues these views create for men and women in their careers and personal lives. Through Level’s work, we want to amplify a conversation that centers on the inequities and challenges that our current system imposes on all genders in separate, yet significant, ways.
Most of the statistics available about women in medicine are based on American or European data or regulations. With our amazing Policy Team and Summer Research Fellows, we’re aiming to change that, and are putting together specifically Australian data on gender equity.
Summer Research Fellowships
We’re currently in our second year of offering our successful Level Summer Research Fellowships.
The 2017/2018 Fellowship topics include:
- Mental health of female doctors
- Supporting junior doctors
- Barriers to women in surgery
- Non-binary gender identities & gender-based discrimination in medicine
- Parental leave legislation and its impact on junior doctor contracts
Past projects have looked at the gender pay gap in medicine, flexible and parental leave policies, and gendered specialties.
Read more about our Summer Research Fellowships here.
The Audit Project
Our ongoing major research project, The Audit Project, is an audit of gender representation in medical teaching in Australian medical schools.
Despite much progress being made in the last decades, disparity between genders in the medical profession remains a significant issue. Importantly, we recognise that this gender disparity becomes an issue from the very first day of medical school, with students immediately exposed to a “hidden curriculum” which perpetuates existing gender stereotypes and almost invariably includes more male teachers in programs for procedural skills such as surgery. This hidden curriculum reinforces to all students, regardless of gender, the pre-existing, entrenched and gendered nature of specialisation within medicine.
Our study will be the first of its kind in Australia, with no previous studies having been conducted of this nature.
Australia is full of incredible doctors and medical students who are breaking down gender barriers. What could be better than getting some of them together to inspire students and younger doctors, and talk about their experiences? Our past successful events include a panel looking at ways to change the medical culture to reduce barriers for women, and another on what it’s like to be a woman in surgery.
The best way to keep up with our events is to follow us on Facebook .
Although you might believe in our work, it can be really tricky to fight for gender equity in your day-to-day life, especially if it involves you being the most junior person in the hospital. That’s where our workshops come in! They’re designed to arm you with conversational tools and strategies to best manage conflict in hospital and the medical workplace…plus they’re really great fun.
Read more about our workshops here.
Advocating for gender equity across Australian medicine is a lofty goal, we get that. As a primarily student-run organisation, we’re focussed on advocating at the medical school level for key policies like clear complaints mechanisms, anonymous feedback opportunities for all teaching, and ensuring that medical schools take a clear, zero-tolerance policy towards gender-based discrimination and harassment. If you’re interested in reading some of our existing work, have a look at our submission to the 2015 Royal Australian College of Surgeons inquiry into bullying and sexual harassment, our 2016 submission to the Parliamentary Enquiry on gender segregation in the workplace and its impact on women’s economic equality or have a gander at our Resources page.
Read more about our advocacy here.