Today marks the date of the birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the U.S. Her journey is a fascinating one…in 1849, Dr. Blackwell became the first US licensed woman physician after having been allowed to attend medical school as a joke.
Her determination opened the door for the hundreds of thousands of female physicians who came after her.
We celebrate how far we have come as a society in empowering females to choose careers in medicine and recognize the progress we still must make to support the development and equality of women in medicine.
Female doctors are an integral part of our patient-centered healthcare system, yet today females only make up 1/3 of the physician workforce and paid on average 20k less.
During National Women Physicians Day, efforts are centered around:
honoring the physicians who paved the way for women in medicine
increasing awareness of the sacrifices and obstacles female physicians must overcome
inspiring the future generation of female physicians
pushing our society towards greater equality of the sexes within this field.
Happy National Women Physicians Day! Keep doing what you do!!
PS: Fun facts I wanted to share specifically around women in osteopathic medicine.
Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO (Founder of Osteopathic medicine) encouraged women to attend the American School of Osteopathy, which opened in 1892. In five years, the number of women enrolled rose from six to 100.
In 1894, A.T. Still’s first graduating class contained five women. WOOP WOOP…DO power!
By 1908, 35% of all osteopathic physicians in the U.S. were women!
(Information from The Feminine Touch: Women in Osteopathic Medicine by Thomas A. Quinn, DO)