Social media gives women physicians a voice

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public relations | June 14, 2018

Image with caption: Sasha Shillcutt, M.D., third from left, poses with other physicians at a conference.

Sasha Shillcutt, M.D., third from left, poses with other physicians at a conference.

On the outside, Sasha Shillcutt, M.D., was recognized as a successful professional. But she was burned out from the demands of her professional and personal life.

"It's an interesting dichotomy," said Dr. Shillcutt, associate professor in the UNMC Department of Anesthesiology. "I had an empty feeling inside. I had isolated myself from other women being very busy as a physician and mother."

Something had to change.

She ultimately started a text group with other women physicians, which grew. Then, she started an online group for women physicians -- kind of like a virtual doctor's lounge, she said, which has grown to a community of 8,000.

Social media forums are important, she said, because women might be more apt to reach out and not feel alone in their challenges.

In yesterday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical journals, she wrote about the power of social media and how it provides a platform to bring to light some of the challenges women in medicine face and also allow women to connect in ways not previously possible.

The article, titled, "Social Media and Advancement of Women Physicians," is co-authored by colleague Julie Silver, M.D., Harvard Medical School's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

In the paper, the authors expose unconscious bias among both women and men. Dr. Shillcutt said she realized she too had unconscious bias.

She recalled an instance where she had not asked a pregnant physician if she was interested in taking on a project.

"I thought she wouldn't be interested because she was pregnant and a busy physician. I realized my own bias and worked to change my own perceptions. It's important to bring to light our unconscious bias."

Her posts can be found on Facebook at @becomebraveenough and on Twitter at @rubraveenough.

Comments

Fill out the following and your comment will post once it has been approved.

Name (Required)

Email (Required)

Thank you, your comment will appear below once it has been approved.

Scott Campbell
June 14, 2018 at 8:42 AM

Nicely done, Sasha. Congratulations on the publication.