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Friday, May 11th, 2012

2012 -- The All-Male Leadership of ACOG

I just returned from the 60th Annual Clinical meeting of ACOG (Women’s Health Physicians).  I can’t explain it, but after being a member for over 30 years, it bothered me to no end to see ALL men on the dais as representatives of women’s health as if women couldn’t make policy about their own health.  When I was a resident, 95% of obstetricians were male.  Now, women comprise over 46% of practicing obstetricians and almost 80% of the OB/GYN resident physicians, YET all you see in the  governing body and officers (who set policy for the care of women) are 12 elderly Caucasian males.   Their very presence as leaders do not reflect the diversity of the ACOG membership today, yet there they are. No Blacks, No women, No minorities.  It’s as if ACOG were stuck in a time warp of 60 years ago!!  Since 1951, there have been only two female Presidents of the College and the last one was almost twenty years ago!  It seems so anachronistic and so wrong.

The male obstetricians have had the power to dictate and oversee women’s health for decades and it appears that they are NOT relinquishing it to any female any time soon; even if it pertains to women’s health!! It is a shame that in the 21st century, no one at ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) is reaching out for inclusion of women and minorities in its upper echelons.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H.

Introduction of ACOG’s leadership