FORMER Kinross Wolaroi School Dux Victoria Cook will get a once in a lifetime opportunity to advocate for women’s rights when she travels to New York on March 13.
The medical student from Carcoar was recently awarded the Global Voices National Scholarship to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 60th Annual Meeting (UN CSW60) in New York.
Fittingly, the annual event is held the same week as International Women’s Day and Ms Cook says she is looking forward to representing Australian women and advocating for them in her field of medicine.
“As part of the scholarship I have completed a research fellowship looking at strategies to increase the participation of women in surgery, a topic of interest to me as a second-year medical student at Sydney University,” she said.
“I am very interested in gender inequality in health and medicine, as well as disparities in rural and remote health, and envisage a future career in policy.”
As part of her visit, Ms Cook will get the chance to present her research on why female doctors are not equally represented in surgery, despite making up 50 per cent of medical students.
She says it is something that is not only happening in Australia, but around the world.
“It is a global phenomenon,” she said.
“I thought it would be relevant to look at the ways medical schools could address the issues and the reasons why [female] students leave medical school and don’t think they should choose surgery in their internship.
“I found that females have negative experiences on surgical rotations and don’t receive many female surgical mentors.”
While at the meeting, Ms Cook will contribute to the delegation by networking and sharing her ideas and research with others, and also hear about their thoughts and ideas.
The former Blayney Public School student arrives in New York on March 13 before the Commission on the Status of Women begins on March 14-24.