Special Interest Section Profile: Women’s Issues
The American Headache Society is home to a diverse array of Special Interest Sections that connect members with shared specialties to collaborate on research efforts, develop practice models and provide multidisciplinary participation in support of the Society’s mission.
Women’s experiences with migraine and headache are particularly deserving of concentrated study and advocacy. The percentage of American women living with migraine is more than double its incidence in men, with 18 percent of women affected compared to 6 percent of men. Gender is a key factor in migraine expression and treatment, with women’s symptoms often fluctuating substantially throughout the stages of their lives, with sometimes dramatic changes reported around pregnancy and menopause. These factors make women with migraine and headache an especially deserving of clinical studies, advocacy, and representation within the American Headache Society.
Today, we’re shining a spotlight on the Women’s Issues Special Interest Section, which focuses on advancing the study of women’s-specific headache issues such as menstrual-related migraine, migraine in pregnancy, contraceptive and hormonal issues, among many others. We spoke with Section Chair Rashmi B. Halker, MD, FAHS about the group’s current and ongoing work, and their vision for the future.
Name of Special Interest Section
Women’s Issues Special Interest Group
Name of Section Chair
Rashmi Halker Singh, MD FAHS
Number of Members
What is the mission of your Special Interest Section?
We have a two-fold purpose: 1) we are interested in promoting research on Women’s Issues as it pertains to headache medicine, and 2) also to help women members of AHS develop leadership skills and provide the support they need as women health care professionals.
What are some recent projects your section has been a part of?
At the June 2017 meeting we launched a half-day Women’s Leadership program, aimed at helping women in AHS refine their leadership skills. We also recently completed an infographic for the AMF on Women & Migraine and developed other patient education materials for the AMF website. At the June 2017 meeting, we also co-hosted with the Vascular SIG a precourse regarding hormonal therapy in women with migraine.
What are the future goals of this Special Interest Section?
We look to continue to promote women leaders in headache medicine and within the AHS, and also develop additional research projects to better understand topics related to women with migraine and other headache disorders.
How is this Special Interest Section making an impact in the field of Headache Medicine?
We are educating the public and health care providers on women’s topics related to migraine and other headache disorders. We are also working within the AHS to help address some of the unique challenges women face as health care professionals.
Women represent the majority of migraine and headache sufferers, which calls for a robust, gender-specific concentration on their experiences with these illnesses and on the search for viable treatment options. Supporting women-centric research and treatment is an essential goal for advancing the headache field. Equally, nurturing, supporting and encouraging female physicians to pursue specializations in the field of headache medicine supports this essential goal and advances the field as a whole. The American Headache Society is grateful to the Women’s Issues Special Interest Section for its commitment to this important work.
If you are an AHS member who would like to get involved in the Women’s Interest Special Interest Section, get in touch. If you represent an AHS Special Interest Section and would like to be featured in a future profile, please complete this form.