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Oncology Specialists Prof. Jyoti Bajpai (India) & Dr Nermean Mostafa (Egypt)

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Dr Jyoti Bajpai, a Professor of Medical Oncology at the Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai India and Dr Nermean Mostafa a lecturer of clinical oncology and early detection at the Ain Shams University in Cairo Egypt. They share some of their motivations for pursuing oncology as a specialisation and give an overview of the field in their countries. For example, Egypt has an intensive screening campaign for early detection of cancer and is improving palliative care. India has a population of more than 1.4 billion people and has wide variations in the type of care and infrastructure available to citizens, however there is a marked deficit of oncologists to cancer patients, currently the ratio stands at 1:2000, whereas in the USA it is 1:100.

We note some of the challenges female oncologists experience, which often stem from social stereotypes and patriarchal cultures that limit people’s perceptions of women reducing them to mothers and care givers, not seeing them as professionals who excel in their chosen fields.

Our discussion centres on the recent Global Women for Oncology Summit (GLOWS) which received delegates from every continent. GLOWS addressed pressing issues faced by women in their careers, such as how to navigate politics in the workplace, how to break the glass ceiling, the importance of #networking and the value of #mentorship and #sponsorship. We discuss distance mentorship, as a concept implemented through digital platforms to provide mentorship between women in different regions. Some of the benefits of this mode of mentorship for women include saving on travel expenses like accommodation or visas, the ability to remain at home and maintain family responsibilities, and connecting to the right mentor irrespective of geographic location. Tune in for more…

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