IWD2019 and Women in Medicine

In medicine, I am seen as a woman at times when it suits some agendas, and not seen as a woman when it does not suit. But no matter what veils I am seen through, I am and remain a woman. Being a woman does not define me, any more than being a wife, a mother, or a doctor does. But being a woman has affected me.

excerpt from Being a Woman, by Dr. Anne Malatt, posted on To Medicine With Love

‘Medicine is a jealous mistress and those who would win her favours must not worship at any other shrine’. This was the advice that a staff member at the London School of Medicine for Women gave her female students in the early twentieth century. The shrine she referred to was the movement for women’s suffrage — a battle which was then being bought by moderate suffragists and militant suffragettes alike. But where were women doctors in fighting for what Elizabeth Garrett Anderson called ‘the cause’? Could you be a suffragette and pursue a medical career?

article byDr. Kristen Hussey, Royal College of Physicians, head curator

I am every woman. I drive my kids to soccer, serve as housekeeper, personal shopper, family chef, and childhood conflict arbitrator. I am the queen of bedtime stories and the singer of bedtime songs. I am an event planner — coordinating dates with my husband and epic birthday parties. I am a travel agent, scheduling and planning all our vacations. I am the Chief Operating Officer of the Graff family scheduling home repairs and services, management of essential supplies, and coordinator of schedules. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. But I am also a physician, breast oncologist, principal investigator, leader, researcher, and scientist. #IAmBlackwell. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell — the first woman physician and the rallying cry of women physicians everywhere. But here’s the complicated whole truth, the piece I do not always get right: Somewhere, in the middle of all that, I am supposed to take care of myself.

Dr. Stephanie Graff

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Physician/writer. Essayist, published in NEJM, JAMA, JAMA Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and The ASCO Post. Doximity Op-Med Fellow.

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