IWD: ‘Let’s accelerate gender equality’

Morgan Liotta

4/03/2024 4:09:16 PM

At an upcoming event, the RACGP’s SA Chair will join a discussion on the obstacles women must overcome when achieving success.

Dr Sian Goodson
RACGP SA Chair Dr Sian Goodson is hosting a panel discussion at a college event for International Women’s Day.

Dr Sian Goodson is passionate about advocating for women’s equality and representing strong female leaders in the general practice workforce.
Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), RACGP’s SA Chair, who is also the inaugural Chair of the RACGP SA Women in General Practice Committee, told newsGP it is ‘hugely important’ to inspire the next generation of women, specifically into a career in general practice.    
‘The majority of GP trainees are now female, and we need to inspire and retain them as our future workforce,’ she said.
‘We need Medicare reform to place higher value on quality, longer consults and we need improved, flexible career pathway options for women.’
The 2023 Health of the Nation report shows that in Australia, female GPs continue to have more presentations relating to psychological issues, with almost eight in 10 reporting these issues as one of their top three reasons for patient presentations, compared to six in 10 for their male colleagues.
Female GPs also typically spend longer with their patients compared to male GPs, at an average of 20 minutes per consultation versus 16.
Efforts are likewise still needed to ensure that the increasing number of women in general practice are appropriately supported, according to Dr Goodson, who will present at the RACGP’s IWD South Australia event, as part of national IWD face-to-face and digital series.
‘I will be facilitating a panel of inspiring women who will tackle questions about overcoming the obstacles women face in achieving success,’ she said.
‘[Including] the business of general practice and reducing gender pay inequality, managing work life balance, and more.’
Originally from the UK, Dr Goodson initially embarked upon a career in general medicine and rheumatology, but a ‘light bulb moment’ eventually led her to general practice.
‘During a rheumatology clinic, a patient firmly told me she would discuss my proposed management plan with her trusted GP,’ she said.
‘I remain convinced that general practice is the best career in medicine and I value the long-term doctor–patient relationships, and the huge variety of the work.
‘There is never a dull moment in general practice.’
For this year’s IWD, Dr Goodson has a strong and simple message to share.
‘Let’s accelerate gender equality and build an inclusive culture for everyone,’ she said.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #CountHerIn, with RACGP events being held across Australia and online on 7 and 8 March.
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