Being Fem in EM

Being Fem in EM

Jan. 15, 2023

Do you have questions about equality, wage gaps, or navigating residency and life as a woman in emergency medicine? Even if you're thinking, "Not me, can't relate" stick around anyway to gain some valuable perspective from EMRA*Cast host Lizzii Le, MD, and guests Arlene Chung, MD, MACM, FACEP, and Diane Birnbaumer, MD, FACEP.


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Elizabeth Le, MD

Mercy Health - St. Rita's
EMRA*Cast Episodes


Arlene S. Chung, MD, MACM, FACEP

Program Director, Maimonides Medical Center
CORD Board of Directors, 2023
NY-ACEP Board of Directors, 2023
EMRA Articles

Twitter: @ArleneSujin

Diane Birnbaumer, MD, FACEP

Emeritus Professor of Emergency Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Overview:  Being a female in a profession that was previously dominated by males can present with some unique challenges. In this episode, Dr. Arlene Chung (@arlenesujin) and Dr. Diane Birnbaumer (@DianeBirnbaumer) discuss what it is like being a female in Emergency Medicine with EMRA*Cast Host Dr. Lizzii Le (@LizziiLeMed).

Take-home Points

  • Pros and Cons of being a female in EM is that sometimes you will be first to experience something. Take this chance to see the glass half full!
  • Aging and garnering more experience helps with gaining respect from patients and peers.
  • There may be some financial disparity if you choose to pursue a fellowship that your male counterparts do not experience, or if you choose to take more time for maternity leave. Keep that in mind.
  • Having a patient-based outlook will help you as the physician better communicate with other staff members when bringing up issues regarding patient care.
  • Always introduce yourself as Doctor. Period.
  • There is no perfect time in residency to have children. If you are planning to have a child, be sure to speak with your program leadership about it! There may be benefits available that you don’t know about.
  • You are wonderful. You are smart. You are capable of changing the world!

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