Dr. Grace Elta Shares Her Experience
An interview by Jill Gaidos, MD, FACG
In the latest installment in the series, Conversations with Women in GI, Dr. Gaidos interviews Dr. Grace Elta of the University of Michigan. Dr. Gaidos, who chairs the College’s Committee on Women in Gastroenterology, seeks to showcase the careers, accomplishments, challenges and unique perspectives of female gastroenterologists.
Dr. Elta reflects on her training, caring for her family during the early years of her career, and some of the challenges that still face many female physicians. She comments about her editorial,”Is the glass ceiling in gastroenterology gone?” and shares candidly her perspective that “the biggest inequity that still exists is pay.”
“I think the biggest obstacle women face is that, at that phase of their life, they are trying to combine career and family, which is very hard. In doing this, they try to protect their time and in medicine, protecting your time means you’re “not a team player” and you’re “not dedicated.” How can you be a dedicated interventionalist if you are trying to protect your time? It is not recognized that they are protecting their time because they are trying to do two important jobs. So, I think that combining career and family is probably a bigger challenge now than overt discrimination.” — Dr. Elta