Profile: A Strong Start for Texas Women in Medicine
By David Doolittle Texas Medicine November 2019

Nov_19_TM_Profile

Passionate. Knowledgeable. Dedicated. Strong. 

Those four words only begin to describe the multitude of women who practice medicine throughout Texas.

So it’s only fitting that the physician elected as interim chair of the Texas Medical Association’s new Women in Medicine Section exemplifies these qualities.

“Mentoring is a passion of mine along with developing women leaders, and I am looking forward to serving in this role,” Houston anesthesiologist Elizabeth Rebello, MD, told Texas Medicine after the section’s inaugural meeting at the TMA Fall Conference in September. “My goal is to help promote the growth and advancement of women leaders.”

Dr. Rebello, who has practiced at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for the past 12 years, certainly has a strong background as a leader. A 2013 graduate of TMA’s Leadership College, she has been active in the Harris County Medical Society and sits on TMA’s Committee on Cancer. She also is associate director of MD Anderson’s Office of Women Faculty Minority Inclusion, which is dedicated to promoting an environment for the institution’s women and minority faculty to achieve their potential and maximize their contributions.

“When I saw the TMA was creating this initiative I was very excited and made a point to be engaged from the get-go,” said Dr. Rebello, who has attended TMA Women in Medicine events since they started in 2018.

Dr. Rebello called the section “an important and strategic step forward” for TMA, particularly as more women become involved in medicine. For the past two years, women have made up more than 50% of first-year enrollees at Texas’ medical schools, mirroring a nationwide trend, TMA records show.

“It’s not a pipeline issue,” Dr. Rebello said. “But there continue to be disparities at the upper echelons of leadership, and tackling those disparities and having women in high-level leadership would provide a broader perspective and expertise necessary to adapt to the rapidly changing health care environment.”

Her goals for the section: increase professional development programming; grow representation of women in TMA on committees and on the podium; and engage men interested in the development of women in medicine and in promoting gender equity.

It will take collaboration among men and women to create more leadership opportunities at hospitals, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions as well as within TMA and other medical societies, she said.

“I envision this section to include not only women but men also who are interested in moving women forward in leadership positions,” she said. “Having a Women in Medicine section will help TMA better serve all citizens of Texas.”

Tex Med. 2019;115(11):48 
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Last Updated On

October 22, 2019

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David Doolittle

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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