National Women Physicians Day is celebrated every year on the anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, the very first female physician in the United States, receiving her medical degree in 1849. Dr. Blackwell promoted medical education among women, both in the United States and the United Kingdom. She was also a moral reformer with a keen social conscience and eyes open to the needs of the less fortunate.
Of course, there have been many other female pioneers in the field of medicine, historically and at Cooper. For example, in 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first black woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. Another female medical pioneer was biologist and cytogeneticist Nettie Stevens (1861–1912), who discovered that X and Y chromosomes were responsible for sex determination.
The day is a celebration of all female physicians across the nation and the progress we have made. At the same time, it highlights the gender inequities which still exist. The bright light on the horizon is that 50% of medical students are women. Cooper has been committed to development of our talented women physicians and please take time this day to acknowledge all your female colleagues.
- Recognize, acknowledge, and show appreciation for the female physicians at Cooper every day, but especially on February 3rd.
- Show your support for female doctors by posting on social media. Share whatever you like to highlight the profession. This might include stories of female pioneers in medicine or personal anecdotes about female physicians who have touched your life. Use the following hashtags to reach as many people as possible: #NationalWomenPhysiciansDay or #WomenPhysiciansDay.
- Encourage our young women in CMSRU and our resident trainees to aspire to greatness.
- Support and mentor female physicians with research, networking, and career advancement.