Women in Cancer

2013 February Newsletter



Book Recommendation

Effective Medical Leadership


Knopf, 2013-03-11

Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, examines why men still hold the majority of leadership positions in her upcoming book, Lean In. Using personal experiences, compelling research, and humor, Sandberg offers advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a successful career. She encourages females to set boundaries and to stay away from the notion of “having it all”.


Dr. Barbara Czerkawski, M.D. FRCP(C)

Why is Dr. Czerkawski the Successful Mentor of the Month for February?

Dr. Czerkawski obtained her medical degree from McMaster University, and trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto and St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. After finishing her training in 1990, she decided to travel the world and do locums until 1995, experiencing many adventures along the way! She finally settled in beautiful Kelowna, BC, specializing in Breast and Gynecological malignancies. Her research interests are in patient safety and clinical decision making. She states that her wonderful colleagues are her favorite thing about working in Kelowna

Dr. Delilah Topic, staff at the BC Cancer Agency, nominated Dr. Czerkawsi for the month of February.

"I moved to Kelowna in August to start my new position as a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency. The role of a mentor is crucial when one is embarking on their first staff position, and I found one in Dr. Czerkawski. She has a wealth of experience in treating breast cancer, and has been a great resource for me when I have come across challenging cases. Whether it is bouncing an idea off of her, or asking for guidance based on her extensive clinical experience, Dr. Czerkawski has always provided the most welcoming and approachable attitude and genuinely takes an interest in the cases that I discuss with her. She is an exemplary role model in providing non-judgmental guidance and support to upcoming staff, and for that reason I have nominated her as our Women in Cancer mentor of the month."

Congratulations Dr. Czerkawski! We thank you for contributing to the success of our future medical leaders.

Nominate a Mentor, Mention an Accomplishment for Next Month!

WinC provides a platform to increase visibility of amazing mentors on an international level. If you have someone in mind that has been an amazing mentor to you or people you know OR you have reached a new accomplishment, please email Yanci Rajmohan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 8th, 2013.

  • 16-Feb-2013 to 19-Feb-2013
    Scripps Cancer Centre’s 33rd Annual Clinical Hematology and Oncology Conference
    Westin San Diego, San Diego, CA
  • 22-Feb-2013
    Best of Oncology 2013 Conference – WEST
    Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, Vancouver, BC
  • 04-Mar-2013 to 07-Mar-2013
    International Congress on Targeted Anticancer Therapies
    Paris, France
  • 05-Mar-2013 to 06-Mar-2013
    24th Annual Cancer Progress Conference
    Conrad New York, New York, NY

WinC is offering a travel grant for the Flims 15 Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop being held in Waldaus Flims, Switzerland. If you are selected to attend the workshop, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details on applying to the grant.

The 2013 WinC Annual General Meeting will be held in Toronto, Ontario at the ORO Restaurant on April 25th, 2013. Please send your RSVP to Camille Bacchus of Bacchus Medical Communications at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (416) 975-2605. Come meet your online WinC community in person, collaborate and network with notable leaders in the Oncology field, and learn about leadership from the experiences of keynote speaker Senator Pamela Wallin.


Female Physicians: Balancing Career and Family

Published online 2004 December 01
doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.28.4.331

By: Glese Verlander, M.D., J.D.


As the number of female physicians increase, institutions have moved slowly to provide support for women pursuing medical careers while managing families. Provided below are challenges and solutions for females as they consider the following factors:

Choice of Specialty

  • Female physicians choose primary care fields and psychiatry over most surgical fields

  • Residency is the most common period for female physicians to first give birth
  • Pregnant physicians face resentment for increased workload and perception of lower dedication to the medical field by colleagues
Maternity Leave

  • Policies regarding maternity leave important to consider when selecting residency program/ position :unpaid vs. paid maternity leave, amount and duration of insurance benefits for mother and child, impact of leave time on completion of training or consideration for tenure, schedule flexibility, availability of leave for adoption of child, and provisions for paternity leave

  • Mothers need a high degree of confidence in the quality of childcare in order to reduce anxiety at work
  • Ideal: onsite daycare offering round-the-clock care and setting for mildly ill children

  • Options: modern electric breast pumps or breastfeeding before and after work while substituting with formula during work hours
Alternative Work Schedules

  • Women more likely to alter job responsibilities to benefit family by reducing hours, sharing positions, doing part-time work, and alternating work and family time
Academic Medicine

  • Male medical leaders emphasized role of mentor in strengthening career development, which females lack
  • Institutions need to increase flexibility in promotion and tenure timelines and decrease stigmatization of physicians who choose slower progression tracks
Having It All

  • Finding balance involves: regular reassessment of priorities, comfort with some level of unpredictability, and learning that a person cannot be in more than 1 place at a time
WinC has reached 262 members with 305 Twitter followers; help WinC expand our network to 300 members by referring colleagues and trainees!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and be privy to tweets on leadership, new articles and thought provoking quotes. See the WinC posting board to see what we have been up to and for more information on our social networking accounts.

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Membership is restricted to medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists as well as hematologists and trainees.

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