September 29, 2023 | Midwestern University
In honor of Women in Medicine Month, four Midwestern University faculty members from both campuses reflected on their experiences and offered advice for female students pursuing healthcare careers. The faculty members include Sheila Wang, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCIDP, Professor, Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, and Parres Wright, O.D., FAAO, Associate Professor, Chicago College of Optometry from the Downers Grove Campus, and Janna Kroleski, D.P.M., Assistant Professor, Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine, and Sharon Edwards, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Assistant Professor, Speech-Language Pathology, from the Glendale Campus. This is the final article in a four-part series.
How does Midwestern University foster a supportive environment for female students in various healthcare fields?
Dr. Wang: “Midwestern has been very open to encouraging not just female students, but every student to succeed in their own way. There’s a pretty significant number of female faculty in pharmacy at the Downers Grove Campus. Everybody I work with is just phenomenal. Midwestern University has taken on faculty who are really contributing to the profession and are also great role models, directly or indirectly, to our students. The University has also allowed me to expand upon my areas of interest outside of clinical pharmacy, such as advising the Asian Healthcare Association (AHA) and directing the annual summer high school PharmAcademy program. Midwestern University student volunteers have been central to the success of these programs, using their knowledge, skills and experiences as learners to uniquely connect with our communities and give back in a meaningful way.”
Dr. Wright: “We have women in leadership roles all across the University. This is great role modeling for all our students. Your ability to attain growth and prosper in your profession isn’t hindered in an environment like this. We get the opportunity to work very closely with our students. We build relationships with our students, working with them both in the clinic and the classroom. We get to know them, and they get to know us well. There are panels with women who discuss how they’ve managed to build their careers in various modes of practice. Students see that having children and/or having a spouse do not have to hinder your career.”
"I have worked in large multi-provider practices as well as small private practice before coming to Midwestern University. I can definitely say that my experience here has been overwhelmingly positive. Midwestern University is committed to diversity and professionalism. Female students here are treated with the same degree of respect as the male students, and female faculty are just as valued as the male providers are. The Arizona College of Podiatric Medicine works together as a team and receives the full support of our Dean and the University Administration."
Ms. Edwards: "Sometimes, female students can feel societal pressure to conform to traits like perfectionism. At MWU, we promote balance. We have high standards, but also allow for grace and flexibility. We expect a lot from the students, but we also know and appreciate the fact that they are human beings with rich lives in addition to their curriculum."
This article is the final one in the four-part series. We hope you have enjoyed them, and that you will take our faculty’s wisdom along with you.