Celebrating Women In S.T.E.M: Meet Dr. Ruby Rose
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re sitting down with Dr. Ruby Rose, Medical Director at SignatureCare and star in THIS CAME OUT OF ME on discovery+, to talk more about the importance of inclusivity in S.T.E.M. fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Around the world, frontline workers are given the tremendous and honorable task of creating safe and supportive spaces for patients from all walks of life - and the E.R. is no exception. Beyond encountering a wide variety of medical emergencies, these highly trained professionals work day in and day out to provide the utmost care to people in need. Dr. Rose believes that part of creating a successful workspace is realizing that representation on the floor is just as important as who walks into the door. We’re learning more about her story.
Q: Your passion for this work is so evident. What made you want to be in the role you have today?
A: I first became interested in science and medicine in college when I went to Africa to study animals and plants. I shifted my focus to the medical treatment of humans when I became an EMT and realized I loved helping people in need along with the interaction I had with patients.
Q: Why is diversity in STEM important?
A: One thing to consider when talking about diversity in the workplace - the American population is made of many cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, so I feel its important for my field to be a reflection of that, which allows a certain level of comfort for patients as well as (possibly) a better insight for the team providing care.
Q: In the ER, you see EVERYTHING! How do you create a safe, judgment-free environment for your patients, from every walk of life?
A: Every patient that comes through our doors is a human being with a medical problem that they perceive as we are trained to diagnose and treat. It’s as simple as that. We do, however, have to recognize race, age, gender, and resources in our treatment recommendations because not every human is the same.
Patients come to the ER because, simply, they are experiencing what they believe to be an emergency. No matter what the issue, we have to treat them with the utmost care, respect, and empathy and make sure they are not truly in a life-threatening situation. We like giving people the peace of mind that they’re not in danger anymore.
Q: How do you encourage an inclusive workspace?
A: In Emergency Medicine, we are a team: physicians, nurses, technicians. We all work together to resuscitate a patient or figure out our patients’ needs. I value the opinions of the staff I work with and openly discuss management options with them.
As for patients, since we are exposed to all “walks of life”, we are also aware of the struggles certain groups of people go through. So I try to make all patients feel comfortable despite being in a stressful setting. For example, I ask how they’d like to be addressed; or if they’d like a family member with them or not; I make physical contact by holding their hand and making sure I give them my undivided attention.
Q: What would you say to young girls dreaming of making a difference in the world?
A: I’d say that anything is possible if you can dream it. Always be yourself, advocate for what is important to you, and don’t let anyone dissuade you from an idea.
I think the one thing I love about women in STEM is the sisterhood and feel like we're in this together. I love the inner support I get from my female colleagues. What I'd say to young women going into STEM: support one another and recognize all the amazing things your friends and colleagues do both in the field and out. Who we are is what we bring to the table and there is a lot of strength in that.
See Dr. Rose and her team at SignatureCare at work in THIS CAME OUT OF ME, streaming now on discovery+.