SPECIALTY SOCIETIES Celebrating Black Women in Urology

By: Linda L. McIntire, MD | Posted on: 01 May 2022

To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality. —bell hooks1

The intersectional feminist, bell hooks, poetically summarizes what it takes to become someone or do something that you have never seen before. As we celebrate Black Women in Urology, we acknowledge that many Black women urologists had to model themselves after an imagined vision while confronting the daily challenges of race and gender discrimination in medicine. In the article “Black Women in Urology,” Dr. Ghanney Simons estimates that Black women comprised a very small fraction of the urology physician workforce in 2018.2 This important work underscores the need to address the lack of diversity in the urology workforce and the challenges that Black women face when choosing urology as a career.

The R. Frank Jones Urological Society meeting on Sunday May 15, 2022 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. is dedicated to “Celebrating Black Women in Urology.” As a society, we recognize the importance of recognition and appreciation of our leaders, and we will present awards to 3 Black women visionaries. After a brief update on current AUA diversity efforts, we will hear from Dr. Shenelle Wilson of Urology Unbound regarding the mentorship of Black women in urology.

This year our keynote speaker is Dr. O. Lenaine Westney, Professor of Urology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Westney will discuss reconciling work-life balance with promotion and gender pay equity in urology academic leadership roles. A highly esteemed group of panelists led by Dr. Emilie Johnson will follow Dr. Westney’s talk. The panel will address issues unique to Black women in the urology workforce

The second half of the Society meeting is dedicated to a Journal Club led by Dr. Kymora Scotland and Dr. Abena Denise Asafu-Adjei. In the Journal Club, we will discuss the following articles:

  1. The Future Is Female: Urology Workforce Projection from 2020-2060
  2. Rising Tides: Challenges and Opportunities for Women in the Urologic Workforce
  3. The Gender Pay Gap in Urology
  4. Gender and Racial Disparities in Early Urology Exposures during Medical School
  5. Trends in the Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the US Urology Workforce

We are honored that many women leaders in urology (some of whom are authors of the Journal Club articles) will join us for a panel discussion. We are excited to discuss our important next steps as a surgical subspecialty to ensure equity for all women who aspire to become a urologist.

“As we celebrate Black Women in Urology, we acknowledge that many Black women urologists had to model themselves after an imagined vision while confronting the daily challenges of race and gender discrimination in medicine.”
  1. hooks b: Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. Oxfordshire, England: Routledge 2014; p 110.
  2. Ghanney Simons EC: Black Women in Urology. AUANews, April 1, 2021.
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