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UC Davis Medicine - Logo
The institution's principal publication for alumni, friends and physicians.
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  D E P A R T M E N T S  
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DEPARTMENTS
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FROM THE VICE CHANCELLOR

Eliminating disparities in women's health

"" Photo — Claire Pomeroy, M.D., M.B.A.

Vice Chancellor, Human Health Sciences

Dean, School of Medicine
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Claire Pomeroy, M.D., M.B.A.
Vice Chancellor, Human Health Sciences
Dean, School of Medicine
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Women have long been underrepresented in the field of medicine. Moreover, women's unique health issues, as well as gender-specific responses to many diseases, have too often been inadequately addressed in medical education and medical research.

At UC Davis Health System, we take a comprehensive approach to addressing gender medicine, and in particular, women's health.

UC Davis Medical Center clinicians are dedicated to improving the health of women by targeting specific health needs through initiatives such as the Women's Cardiovascular Heart Disease Program and the Women's Midlife Assessment Program.

At our School of Medicine, we reach out to young women to encourage them to enter the profession. Today, more than half of our medical students are women, compared to the early 1960s when only 6 percent of U.S. medical school graduates were women. We also have focused on increasing the representation of women faculty at all levels, from assistant professors through department chairs. In the past few years, we have increased the number of women faculty hired by more than a third. They are the role models and mentors of the future for women in medicine and science.

Our new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing will offer a unique, immersive curriculum next fall that combines nursing education with training in business administration, information technology, public health and evidence-based research. Nursing has traditionally been a profession for women, but the full impact that nurses should have on health issues has yet to be fully realized. Graduates of our innovative approach to nursing will have the skills and confidence required to become health-care leaders in an ever-changing and increasingly complex environment.

At UC Davis, we are committed to increasing the number of women who pursue medical research. Therefore, I am pleased that we were recently awarded a National Institutes of Health grant to explore the careers of women in biomedical and behavioral sciences and in engineering with the goal of determining the effectiveness of programs supporting these women researchers.

In addition, we are committed to increasing awareness of the importance of research on women's health. Our NIH-funded Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) program, for which I am honored to serve as principal investigator, supports the career development of the next generation of investigators in women's health.

We are proud that our institution is making significant advances in addressing the health of women. The stories in this issue, featuring a few of our women researchers and the research we are conducting into women's health, are representative of our efforts.

Still, much work is needed to further advance women's health. The health-care profession can find better treatments for diseases and disorders in women, but until society addresses the true determinants of health, women's health will improve only marginally. Studies show that women's health is particularly impacted by the poverty, limited education and lack of empowerment far too many women experience in our communities and around the globe. We are committed to addressing these broader drivers of health for women.

I am proud of our efforts to reduce the health disparities for women, and I am confident that as health-care providers and as advocates for social justice, we will help advance the health of all women.

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  "Our patient-care team at the Children's Hospital brings the most advanced treatments to the youngest patients. For example, our pediatric heart surgeon performs delicate procedures on the tiniest of hearts so that babies can thrive. Our neonatologists are using an innovative cooling treatment to help at-risk newborns recover from brain trauma" — Claire Pomeroy  
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