Baylor AMWA Hosts Wonder Woman Panel

On November 14, Baylor’s American Medical Women’s Association hosted the Wonder Women panel, which is considered their biggest event of the semester. They invited 5 local medical practitioners to share their experiences about working in their respective specialties. The audience learned everything from their journeys to higher education, the setbacks they had as women pursuing healthcare positions, and what they’ve learned so far.   Dr. Lindsay Bicknell, a dermatologist at Baylor Scott & White shared her current experience as a mother of two young children and finding that work/life balance. She currently works three days a week and is grateful to have flexible hours to watch her children grow. Her husband is also a physician, making it interesting for both of them to figure out how to juggle their professions yet still make time for their families. Dr. Bicknell gushed about dermatology and how, from being a female-dominated specialty, is getting more men in the mix. Her favorite thing about her job is the fact that she gets to cure cancer every day!

  Ms. Karrie Crosby has been a physician’s assistant for more than 25 years, recently switching from sports medicine to family medicine due to her love of working with families and seeing her patients grow. She discussed with the panel how she made ends meet and achieved her dream job especially at a time when being a PA was not a popular job. Ms. Crosby mentioned how family medicine is sometimes underrated in comparison to other specialties but how she chose it over others despite the stigma of it not paying well, or it being underappreciated.

  Ms. Amanda Ibanez is a clinical social worker that currently works at the Baylor Scott & White McClinton Cancer Center. She mainly cares for breast, lung, pancreatic, and neuro-oncology patients and discussed how although her work may be considered very sad, it is very rewarding. To learn and get to know your patient is key to the start of their healing.

  Dr. Iliana Neumann is a faculty physician at Waco’s Family Health Center. She was previously a physician’s assistant that helped care for migrant workers from Mexico for many years before realizing that her capabilities to help are being hindered by what she cannot do for them. Dr. Neumann went back to medical school and became specialized in Family Medicine, continuing to work for the impoverished when she moved to Waco. 

  Dr. Darlene Sparkman is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Hillcrest that graduated from Mayo Medical School. She discussed how when learning about the different specialties, she was drawn to “plastics” and how it became more interesting to her over all the others. 

  These women are amazing role models, but perhaps my favorite things that they’ve said during the panel include as follows:   About gender equality in the workplace, “Women are considered to be disadvantaged because they’re too loud, too sensitive, too caring, but if you take these disadvantages and make them your advantages to advance in the medical field, we’re known to be better doctors for it," said Dr. Iliana Neumann.

Upon interviewing for orthopedics, a very male-dominated field, Dr. Sparkman was told “So you’re interested in orthopedics? Why would you want to do that, you’re a woman!”   Talking about being a woman in the medical field: “It’s interesting to me that women are often expected to give up their work for their family, but men aren’t held to the same regard. When it comes to taking care of the children, mothers are expected to do it, but I’ve made it so that I can have both my dream job and my dream family," said Dr. Lindsay Bicknell.   Baylor’s American Medical Women’s Association hosts several panels over the course of the school year, focusing on women empowerment and being the best individual you could be. By uplifting the women of the Baylor community, they show a lot of promise for the women of the future.