KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 – Aurelius Healthcare recently hosted a panel discussion featuring four female doctors and a special guest in conjunction with International Women’s Day, celebrated earlier this month.
The event aimed to shed light on some of the most pressing issues facing women in the health care industry today.
Held at Aurelius Hospital Nilai, the panel included psychiatrist Dr Malini Elangovan, paediatrician Dr Fadzlina Abdul Aziz, breast and endocrine surgeon Dr Nurul Nadia Jamaluddin, and emergency medical officer Dr Evelyn Marie. The guest-of-honour was Jeanne Abdullah, chairperson of TRC Synergy Bhd, who shared her thoughts on the importance of positive thinking, prioritising family, and taking care of oneself.
The discussion touched on several central topics, including the challenges faced by women in the health care industry, juggling careers and families, the need for women to take an active role in managing their physical and mental health, and the importance of workplace equality.
Amir Firdaus Abdullah, group managing director and chairman of Aurelius Healthcare, stated that the event aimed to amplify the voices of women in the workplace and celebrate their greatness in playing a vital role in ensuring the continuation of life.
“By hosting this event, we proudly advocate for our female doctors and women everywhere. Therefore, it is necessary to create a space where all women can share their work experiences and provide mutual support,” he said.
The Importance Of Women Advocating Themselves And Their Journey In The Health Care System
In Malaysia today, women generally have equal rights to education, employment, and career advancement in the health care system.
Nonetheless, it is still important for women to advocate for themselves, to ensure their voices are heard, and their contributions are acknowledged.
According to Dr Nurul Nadia, “each profession has its own set of challenges. However, if we have enough passion for the work, we will persevere through the obstacles to succeed. As for me, the essence of a meaningful career path is the ability to handle the workload, time management, and the constant travels to the hospital and back”.
Juggling The Roles And Responsibilities At Home And Work
The doctors emphasised how vital planning and setting clear expectations are with oneself and one’s partner in order to achieve one’s goals without exhausting oneself. By allocating some “me time” and focusing on self-care, you can care for your loved ones and yourself more effectively.
Dr Fadzlina described the difficulties she faced in balancing her decision to build a career in one of the most demanding industries while raising a family.
She emphasised that the duties of a mother and wife and a physician are never fulfilled for women in health care.
Meanwhile, Jeanne highlighted the significance of women and mothers cultivating a strong family bond and placing family first.
She also highlighted that it is essential for women to understand that this responsibility should not fall solely on women, especially mothers.
It is important for both parents to share responsibility and collaborate to create a harmonious household.
The Need For Women To Focus On Their Mental And Physical Health
When discussing the significance of understanding mental health, Dr Malini described the coping mechanism technique she typically teaches her patients to manage stress.
The ABC method will help mothers and women to prevent mental exhaustion. Firstly, a mother must be aware that she is stressed. Dr Malini explained.
“Once we determine and accept what is wrong, there must be a balance in our actions, and we must communicate when we feel we need assistance.”
Dr Evelyn shared her thoughts on improving women’s health care practices. “Women should always undergo routine check-ups, particularly married and sexually active women.
“Missing check-ups and failing to express health concerns can delay diagnosis. The treatment of female-related medical issues by a female physician was a second pressing concern that was emphasised.
“This can cause undiagnosed conditions such as cancer to progress to a more dangerous stage, as many women are uncomfortable with having a male doctor attend to them,” she said.
While the panel did not have first-hand experience dealing with discrimination and sexism in their careers, they agreed that several specialisations were male-dominated. Still, women now have equal opportunities and chances to apply.
Since its inception in the 1900s, International Women’s Day has grown into a global celebration of the power of women and a reminder of the work that remains until gender equality is achieved in every aspect of public and private life.
Everyone should take this opportunity to honour all women for their vital role in ensuring life’s continuation.