INTRODUCTION: Women in emergency medicine (EM) at all career stages report gender-specific obstacles to satisfaction and advancement. Programs that facilitate longitudinal mentoring, professional development, and networking may ameliorate these barriers. METHODS: We designed and implemented a program for female residents, faculty, and alumnae from our EM training program to enhance social support, leadership training and professional mentorship opportunities. An anonymous, online survey was sent to participants at the end of the academic year, using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) format. The survey collected free-text responses designed to evaluate the program. RESULTS: Of 43 invited participants, 32 responded (74.4%). Eight themes emerged from the free-text responses and were grouped by SWOT domain. We identified four themes relating to the "strength" domain: 1) creating a dedicated space; 2) networking community; 3) building solidarity; and 4) providing forward guidance. Responses to the "weaknesses" and "threats" questions were combined due to overlapping codes and resulted in three themes: 5) barriers to participation; 6) the threat of poorly structured events lapsing into negativity; and 7) concerns about external optics. A final theme: 8) expansion of program scope was noted in the "opportunity" domain. CONCLUSION: This program evaluation of the Women's Night curriculum demonstrates it was a positive addition to the formal curriculum, providing longitudinal professional development opportunities. Sharing the strengths of the program, along with identified weaknesses, threats, and opportunities for advancement allows other departments to learn from this experience and implement similar models that use existing intellectual and social capital.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine