The History of the Women in Medicine Conference:
In 1984, San Francisco lesbian physicians, Lesley Anderson and Patty Robertson, organized the first conference for Lesbian Physicians: The “Women in Medicine Conference” or “WIM.”
Our first Conference took place in Asilomar, on the Monterey Peninsula in California. An announcement in the American Medical News (in an article by Sari Staver), drew 24 lesbian physicians from across the United States and Canada. Since 1984, WIM has grown in numbers and diversity, and now welcomes all lesbian and sexual minority female physicians, medical students and their female partners to its annual conferences.
The Women in Medicine Conference, which has taken place every year from 1984 to present, has aspired to include the following unique qualities in all of our meetings:
- High Quality Continuing Medical Education, often provided by women who are leaders in their fields.
- A cross section of physician specialties in our programs that allows for broader, more cross specialty collaboration that is not found at most specialty conferences.
- A retreat format that welcomes lesbian physicians, other sexual minority female physicians, medical students, their female significant others, and their children.
- Hotel accommodations with communal meals for all physicians, medical students, and their families.
- Inclusion of significant others of physicians and medical students as conference participants.
- Small groups throughout the conference to increase opportunities for connections with other attendees.
- A scholarship program for LGBTQ female medical students who would otherwise be unable to attend.
- A formal mentoring program pairing medical students with attendings in practice and academia.