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National Women Physicians Day

Nationally, the United States medical field is still powered by men.  The female population of doctors is increasing, and National Women Physician’s Day celebrates that.  It is in honor of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in the United States.  For the first time ever in 2017, women made up half of the students in medical school.  National Women Physicians Day brings light to the gender discrimination the medical field has which is dominated by men.  Even more so, women physicians still earn less than male physicians.  While women only make up a third of the physician workforce, medical schools are started to become half female and half male.  This is a great sign that women will soon be equal in the field as men are.  Let’s take a look at some of the female heroes who paved the medical field.  

Marie Curie  

Marie Curie did extensive work on radiation treatments leading to many medical advances and cancer treatments.  

Florence Nightingale  

Florence Nightingale was the first woman to receive the Order of Merit while working during the Crimean War.  

Maria Montessori  

Maria was the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree.  She later developed the eponymous education system that encourages hands-on learning in the field and exploration.  

Rosalind Elsie Franklin 

Franklin was a British biophysicist who worked with x-ray DNA images.  This led to the discovery of the double helix found inside DNA. 

Virginia Apgar 

Virginia Apgar developed the Apgar score.  This measures a newborn’s health.  In addition, Apgar was Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons first full-time female professor.  


In honoring these wonderful female physicians and many others who came after them, we can all celebrate National Women Physicians Day. 

  • Thank the female physicians in your life.  
  • Post on social media about the history of female doctors or thanking those you know yourself using #NationalWomenPhysiciansDay or #WomenPhysiciansDay. 
  • Binge your favorite physician shows with female doctor leads.  Yes, this includes Doctor Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy. 


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