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Correspondence
April 2000

Sex-Based Professional Societies Are by No Means Obsolete—Yet

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(4):553. doi:

It should surprise no one that as president of the Women's Dermatologic Society (WDS), I agree with the thesis of Dr Sherertz1 that the mission of gender-based professional societies should be "to become unnecessary." That is, in a future gender-blind society brought about in part by the efforts of organizations such as the WDS, all men and women will be treated equally, both professionally and personally, and thus gender-based organizations will be obsolete. But where does that sentiment leave us? Hypothetically speaking, philosophically speaking, yes, the WDS is working to make itself extinct. But practically speaking, the ultimate goal does not have much relevance to the daily lives of our members and other members of our specialty and profession. For women working in the medical trenches, so to speak, struggling with issues of career and family, who try to make a personal life out of days so full that they spill into each other, that time of perfect equality may as well come about not in the third, but in the fourth millennium.

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