AWDS conducted its first ever Signature series talk on 13th April 2019 at G Aesthetic Wellness Medical Clinic at Millenia Walk. The guest speaker for this inaugural series was aptly, Dr Lucy Ooi-Tan, who is one of the founding presidents. Her talk, titled “Leadership in the Professional World” attracted a good range of audience from medical students to pioneer AWDS members as well as non-doctors.
Besides being the founding president of AWDS, Dr Lucy was part of the team that rallied for the increase in the female quota in Singapore medical school. In 1997, only 25% of medical school students in Singapore were allowed to be female as it was believed that there was a high attrition rate of female doctors due to family commitments. AWDS did a survey which showed that on the contrary, most women doctors continued in the workforce even after having children. This survey together with the voices of the passionate doctors from AWDS brought about the increase in the female quota, which was indeed a milestone in the history of medicine in Singapore.
In her talk, she shared her experiences and highlighted the challenges in achieving a balance between work, leadership roles, being a mother and a wife. This is not an easy task and hence a good support network is crucial. Families form the pillar of support. Besides that, as female doctors, we can help support each other as we are familiar with the challenges we face in this field of dentistry and medicine. Societies such as AWDS provide a platform to network and collaborate with other female professionals across specialties, clusters and even professions, which is helpful for personal and professional development
There was a highly interactive Q&A session after the talk, during which the topic of maternity leave, childcare and space for breastfeeding was brought up as one of the challenges faced by women doctors today. Coincidentally, these issues were recently visited in the recent edition of the SMA magazine in March 2019. (Click here to access the article).
Other topics such as burnout in junior doctors and potential mentorship programs for medical students were discussed.
A society is only as successful as the people within in. Hence active recruitment is important to ensure that there are new members with fresh ideas, enthusiasm and passionate about people and making a difference in lives. This Q&A session was led by Dr Lucy and Dr Ho Ching Lin, current president of AWDS. The afternoon ended off with good food, bubbles and meeting new friends.
“Do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. Its you who can change the world”, -Malala Yousafzai