Along with becoming an excellent clinician, many anesthesiologists also have the objective of becoming involved in physician leadership. This could take the form of a leadership position at the departmental level, such as Chief or Vice-Chief of Anesthesiology, leadership at the hospital level, working on policies that affect all departments, or leadership in the multiple professional society groups, such as the American Society of Anesthesiologists and various local organizations. While the field of anesthesiology is swiftly diversifying to include those traditionally under-represented in medicine, leadership positions lack the same level of representativeness. Although the past twenty years has seen great progress towards diversifying leadership, continued improvement is still needed.
To commence, it is important to underscore that physician involvement in leadership is essential for driving change. Practicing anesthesiologists understand the very nature of delivering medicine in the perioperative and surgical setting, including stressors, roadblocks, challenges and opportunities. Anesthesiologists’ insight is salient at the departmental and hospital level for initiating policy changes. In line with this, it is also prudent to have a diversity of experiences and opinions at the decision-making table, to ensure that the highest proportion of needs are being heard. Female anesthesiologists thus provide a particularly important voice to be heard.
In a broad sense, the number of female clinicians pu