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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Society for Women in Academic Psychiatry

Mission statement

The faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences form a truly unique group, bringing together nationally recognized researchers, talented clinicians and dedicated educators. Due to our diverse interests and geographical separation of sites, we have few opportunities to meet and interact. Exchanging ideas will greatly enrich our experiences.

The Society for Women in Academic Psychiatry (SWAP) is an initiative born from the need to socialize, obtain mentorship and support our professional development. Women are proud to be a part of the larger faculty group and grateful about collaboration opportunities with brilliant colleagues. However, we acknowledge differences between communication and work styles of men and women. We seek to understand how these styles affect the way we teach, care for patients, conduct research, work in a team, and manifest our creativity. These differences are an essential aspect of a culture in which diversity is a key concept. Through mentorship, we strive to become strong role models for our trainees.

Our women's group meets bi-monthly and represents a variety of faculty tracks and professional backgrounds: psychologists, social workers, clinical nurse specialists, and child, general and geriatric psychiatrists. Trainees are invited to participate quarterly. Together we pledge our expertise and enthusiasm to the following goals: 

  • Education on gender differences, for the trainees, faculty and community, leading to improved patient care
  • Mentoring of women faculty, residents, and medical students, with the explicit purpose of stimulating professional development
  • Identification of successful strategies for retention of female faculty in academic psychiatry and our department.

Objectives and future plans

Education

  • Influence the development of curriculum in women's mental health for trainees.
  •  Bring in outside speakers (at least one grand rounds/ year devoted to women's mental health).
  • Academic projects
  • Journal club regarding gender issues, perhaps quarterly
  • Enhance knowledge on women's health issues (such as participating in Women's Midlife Assessment Program, now an elective rotation for psychiatry residents).
  • Organize a women's mental health conference.


Mentoring

  • Pair junior and senior faculty. If necessary, reach outside the department for mentoring opportunities.
  • Participate in faculty development activities at the departmental or higher level.


Liaison

  • Organize a retreat for the whole department, centered on women's mental health.
  • Develop interdisciplinary relationships with other departments, in advancing awareness of gender differences and women's mental health.
  • Connect with other women's groups in the School of Medicine or University.
  • Create a task force looking at female faculty recruitment and retention strategies.
  • Communicate findings to our department chair and vice chair for education.