The Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) most recent newsletter is now available. AFMW is affiliated with Medical Women’s International Association, an association of medical women and students representing women doctors from all six continents and eight regions. In this newsletter, the Secretary General shares thanks and a summary as her triennium for MWIA comes to a close; The Past President and Treasurer provides an update; and a review of activities of the MWI and its Regions is presented.
June 2022 Newsletter
Secretary General’s Message
Greetings colleagues and friends: As we come to the end of this triennium for MWIA (2019- 2022) I would like to convey my sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks Dr Bettina Pfleiderer, Past President, and Dr Marissa Daniels who have done an extraordinary job as co-webmasters and curating the e-mail messages of MWIA. The current well-designed website is the result of their hard work, and they will be stepping down form their current assignment at the end of the June MWIA Congress. The social media team of Drs Megh, Kaladze, and Johnson have been keeping the membership update by their posts and tweets. Thank you for work.
Dr Helen Goodyear, the treasurer, has been outstanding in doing her job under these challenging circumstances and I would like to convey my appreciation and thanks. Despite the challenges, due of technology we have been able to stay in touch with our colleagues and friends. The discovery of vaccines and new medications to address the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic further reiterate the leaps and bounds by which technology has advanced in the past 2 years which has given new hope.
As SG this triennium I have tried to do my best for MWIA despite the many challenges it has been facing, namely lack of registration as an NGO which has impacted MWIA’s international membership accreditation with global entities MWIA was reincorporated in 2020 in Switzerland where the organization was first incorporated.
I would be amiss if I did not thank the 8 regional Vice Presidents for work in their regions and dedication to MWIA. I would like to extend my appreciation and heartfelt thanks to Dr Pfleiderer and Dr Goodyear for their spirit of camaraderie and team spirit extended to me personally (you were there in so many ways for me personally and to ensure that we work to the best of our abilities for MWIA – I am profoundly grateful!)
COVID 19 has challenged the way we live and work and has disrupted the very fabric of our existence globally, but as women physicians who have taken the Hippocratic Oath, we have continued to serve the communities we live and work in with dedication. I applaud you for your service colleagues and thank you all for your continued commitment. I would like to share a poem I wrote:
The skies are not blue,
But filled with dark hue,
The stars do not appear bright,
As they struggle to shine at night,
There is a perpetual haze.
Which does not amaze,
Climate change, yes Climate change,
Has created an estrange,
Listen to the dinosaur,
And his wise metaphor,
Work to protect our seas and trees,
And prevent the great freeze!
I would like to request you all register online for the Upcoming MWIA Hybrid Congress in June 2022. It is disappointing for all of us that we cannot see old friends and meet new ones because of COVID but let us do our best to support our colleagues from Taiwan who have worked so hard under these challenging circumstances.
In Health and Human Rights
Dr. Padmini Murthy
Padmini Murthy MD
Past President’s Message
The three years serving as MWA´s past president have almost passed now and it will be my last message as past president in the MWIA update in this triennium. The update was brought into life by me and Marissa Daniels as MWIA´s joint web team; thus, we are quite thrilled that this is the 6th edition of the update.
Marissa Daniels and I also designed and managed the new MWIA webpage (www.mwia.net) as well. Due to lack of time, Marissa and I will not be longer able to serve as web team in the next triennium, but I am sure our successor(s) can build up on the achieved.
A big thank you goes from my side to Dr. Marissa Daniels; it was an asset to have her as my other co-web team member.
In the last three years I was not only the other half of the web team, but I was also chairing the MWIA finance committee. The committee successfully drafted the guidelines for the various MWIA funds ( https://mwia.net/about-us/mwia-funds/). I would like to thank the MWIA treasurer Dr. Helen Goodyear for the very good and respectful collaboration on financial matters over the last three years.
For a pilot phase (1st October 2021 – 31st May 2022), a MWIA awards committee was installed successfully to assess the various MWIA fund applications and to recommend to the MWIA Exco what to fund. The co-chairs for the awards committee were the treasurer (Dr. Goodyear) and I as chair of the finance committee and one representative from each MWIA region. In the pilot phase we have received and reviewed 8 applications and provided recommendations to the MWIA Exco. We hope that we will receive more submissions in the next triennium and the funds will get more known.
However, not everything I had worked on such as getting MWIA registered as NGO in Switzerland was accomplished. I do sincerely hope that this will be achieved in the next triennium and that MWIA will return to the international UN and WHO stage, as we have lost our UN and WHO accreditation.
The last three years were mostly overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and it was not possible to meet face-to-face. I am thus extremely delighted that I could attend the national meeting of the medical women of Austria at June 3, 2022 in Vienna (Austria). Talking to each other directly, exchange ideas and discuss important matters of medical women was a treat (Fig. 2).
Last but not least, I would also like to thank MWIA secretary General Prof. Padmini Murthy for her huge support and great work being done on behalf of MWIA. I am also indebted to the MWIA VP´s I had the pleasure to work with on various projects over the last three.
To close, it was an honour serving as MWIA past president over the last three years. Thank you for the support, sisterhood and friendship of many during my journey in MWIA so far!
It is hard to believe 3 years have gone by and we near the end of the 2019-2022 triennium. In some ways it has gone quickly and in others slowly especially with the COVID pandemic. We are facing new challenges which 3 years ago were not there including the war in Ukraine, emergence of Monkeypox in Europe, rising prices as well as fuel and food shortages. It is vital that MWIA members support each other in these difficult times.
A big thank you to all countries and individual members who have paid their dues. I have enjoyed receiving your emails. Being treasurer has been a challenge without control of any bank account or electronic bank statements in between the ones sent in the first week of the month. However, my deepest thanks go our Secretary General, Prof Padmini Murthy and Prof Bettina Pfleiderer, Past President who have for the 3 years operated the TD US and Canadian accounts and Euro account respectively. They have dealt with banking requests in a timely willing manner without fuss even though this is not in their Job Descriptions!
I do hope in the next triennium that MWIA will be registered and banking accounts along with investments can be reviewed and modernized whilst still maintaining strict financial controls so as to ensure all claims are justified and we are operating as efficiently as possible.
My heartfelt thanks go to Prof Pfleiderer as head of the Finance Committee and to all members of the Finance Committee. They have responded to questions I have posed to them and had in depth consideration of financial matters. After being dormant for some years, the special funds have been utilized and awards made.
Operating in a virtual world has been a challenge for all of us but there are many lessons to be learnt including when to meet face to face, virtually and hybrid. Travel is likely to become even more expensive in the next few years and so there needs to be deep consideration of such matters.
I am in awe of our Taiwanese colleagues who despite the many challenges and uncertain COVID situation have meticulously organized an excellent hybrid congress programme. Although a disappointment not to be able to meet many colleagues face to face, a great plus is that all registered delegates will be able to watch every recorded session at their convenience whereas attending parallel streams face to face is not possible.
I would like to extend thanks for the huge improvement in the website and all the time and effort spent by MWIA’s webmasters Dr Marissa Daniels and Prof Pfleiderer. Hopefully in the future we will have the facility to make payments via the website.
Lastly my thanks to our Secretary General Prof Padmini Murthy who coordinates MWIA matters and updates us with important issues, which is a vital role. Thank you also to the 8 Vice Presidents who have brought different insights to their roles.
Despite challenges, it has been an honour serving as MWIA Treasurer from 2019-2022.
Activities of MWIA and its Regions
Near East and Africa
Report from Ghana
Report for Quarter 3 (January – March) for Medical Woman Association of Ghana (MWAG) Read Report
Report from Sweden
This spring, the Swedish Medical Women’s Association are presenting a new board. Our focus lies on the upcoming day of election to the Swedish Parliament, 11th of September. Read Report
Report from Korea
1. Korean Medical Women’s Association (KMWA) held the inauguration ceremony at the 66th regular general meeting held at the Koreana Hotel on April 30th and celebrated the inauguration of president Baik Hyun-wook.
2. “Sex Education for Teenagers” was published as a prescription for puberty by KMWA women doctors. Read Report
Report from Japan
The Japanese medical women association held their 67th annual meeting online on May 15,2022 and Yoshiko Maeda was elected as president. Read Report
Report from Taiwan
Taiwan Medical Women’s Association as host of the International MWIA congress (June, 24-26, 2022) is looking forward to seeing MWIA members there. Read Report
Report from Australia
Dr Magdalena Simonis, AMA Vic. Patrick Stegmann Award for excellent contribution to health of the community and profession; Dr Tahnee Bridson: Young Australian of the Year Award QLD. Read Report
Magdalena is the President of the AFMW (2020-) and former President of VMWS (2013 & 2017-2020), National Coordinator AFMW, MWIA Scientific and Research Subcommittee co-Chair, MWIA Mentoring and Leadership, Special Interest Group, Chair
Magdalena’s deep engagements with the RACGP over many years includes chair of Women in General Practice, is currently on the RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, prior to that on RACGP eHealth Expert Committee. She is a regular media spokesperson on numerous health issues, being interviewed most weeks by mainstream and medical media. Magdalena has represented the RACGP at senate enquiries and has worked on several National Health Framework reviews.
Both an RACGP examiner and University examiner she supervises medical students and undertakes general practice research. Roles outside of RACGP include the Strategy and Policy Committee for Breast Cancer Network Australia, Board Director of Women’s Health Victoria and Chair of their Strategy and Policy subcommittee and the AMA Victoria GP Network Committee.
Magdalena has presented at the United Nations as part of the Australian Assembly and was recently appointed the Australian representative to the World Health Organisation, World Assembly on COVID 19, by the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA).