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Women in Medicine Month: Women as Physicians

Women as Physicians

The AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS) is proud to celebrate Women in Medicine Month! Each week in the month of September we will feature spotlights and leadership lessons from women in educator, scientist, leadership, and physician roles.

Women as Physicians Spotlight

Melissa M. Alvarez-Downing, MD

“Having the opportunity to inspire and mentor the next generation is a role we should all be honored to have. When I think back on my career in medicine and all of the women and physicians of color who served as role models or took the time to invest in me personally, I feel blessed to be able to carry the torch forward with the same commitment towards the medical students and surgical residents I have the privilege of working with.”

Melissa M. Alvarez-Downing, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Clerkship Director, Assistant Program Director    
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Silvia Corvera, MD

“Today, more women than men are entering medical school. This simple statistic, resulting from the tireless work of many, offers a lens through which to envision the ideal future of medicine and medical research, in which people of all genders, races and abilities, working constructively together, provide stark proof of the destructive power of ingrained prejudice.”

Silvia Corvera, MD
Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine
Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research
Director, MD/PhD program (MSTP) 
University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine

Cristina R. Fernández, MD

“Physicians face escalating pressures that increase exhaustion and burnout - societal changes during the pandemic affect the care of our families, patient care issues aggravate stress, implicit biases damage encounters with patients and colleagues of color, and academic medicine's slow acceptance of non-traditional benchmarks for career success hinders progress. The women in my network have been critical to keeping me grounded this past year. When women physicians support each other and reach down to pull one another up, we accomplish much and prop the door open for future possibilities.”

Cristina R. Fernández, MD
Assistant Professor, Division of Child and Adolescent Health, Department of Pediatrics
Columbia University Irving Medical Center    

Evelyn C. Granieri, MD

“Women in medicine have our own unique Venn diagram of life. The intersecting circles appear and disappear, expand and contract. There is, though, an interconnectedness between us. The innermost circle represents us and demands self-awareness and self-care. The first intersecting circle is the women who went before us. The second connection is the one with our peers and those who follow us. The third circle contains our other colleagues in medicine. And the fourth circle is the diverse community we serve, where we have the greatest responsibility.”

Evelyn C. Granieri, MD
Emerita Professor of Medicine
Columbia University Medical Center

Yolanda C. Haywood, MD

“When I think about my life and my career I think about the many small moments when someone just decided to pay attention to me. I want to bring those moments to my colleagues and trainees. Those moments change the trajectory of our lives, they propel us into spaces we couldn't previously imagine!”

Yolanda C. Haywood, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Diversity & Faculty Affairs
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Grace C. Huang, MD

“Not "Women in Medicine" month but "Women in Medicine," full stop. Heroes of the past have bravely paved the way, and working together we can confront inequities and challenge structures to bring diversity to academic medicine.  It is an exciting time to be a woman leader of color; however, I hope I live to see an age where it's nothing special at all.”

Grace C. Huang, MD
Dean for Faculty Affairs
Harvard Medical School

Judith Kaur, MD

“I have been in academic medicine long enough to appreciate the increase in women choosing medical/scientific careers.  It is so important for young women to have role models to support the variety of women and URM seeking success in interdisciplinary scientific endeavors.”

Judith Salmon Kaur, MD
Choctaw and Cherokee
Professor of Oncology
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

GWIM Resources

The GWIMS Toolkit is a series of presentations designed to provide practical guidance on a variety of topics relevant to women faculty in academic medicine. Each presentation provides an overview of the topic, relevant best practices, tips on implementation, and useful references for more information.

GWIMS Toolkits are useful resources that will help advance women in leadership roles.

Join GWIMS Today