In 1991, Nancy Auer, MD, FACEP, was elected to the Board. And in 1997, she became ACEP’s first woman President. The ACEP Board had taken another step toward gender neutrality. ACEP has had five female Presidents since.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 37 – No 05 – May 2018
In those early years, a group of us celebrated a Boston Tea Party whenever ACEP went to Boston. The Tea Party was a special dinner to honor first Nancy Auer and then the women ACEP officers who followed her. For 50 years, ACEP has grown and evolved. We no longer ignore the lack of a woman on the Board. We now wonder why there aren’t more (there are currently five).
Today, when so many women have served on the Board and as officers, some members wonder if bias still exists in ACEP. It does; differences will always generate bias.
Each of us brings a unique perspective to our specialty. ACEP needs to be the place where every emergency physician has a voice and an opportunity. To succeed, ACEP will have to seek out, listen to, and hear individuals who, though qualified to lead, chose not to, those who can join but don’t, those who should stay in the college but leave, and those we have excluded but need to include.
We need to be more aware of problems and solutions beyond our limited individual viewpoints. We need to search for emergency physicians we don’t know, listen to new ideas, broaden our horizon, and return to ACEP with a different outlook. Fifty years from now, ACEP will be glad we did. Now, as in 1982, I ask you not to vote for someone because they are ______, but don’t vote against them because they are _______. You fill in the blanks.
Dr. Bensen is president of Medical Education Programs in Buffalo Junction, Virginia.