On February 3, we join our colleagues across the country in celebrating National Women Physicians Day, which is the birthday of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States in 1849. Here are just a few of our awesome physicians at Cooper, sharing their thoughts and experiences as women in medicine.
Over the span of my 30 year career in medicine I have seen tremendous changes in the role of women in medicine and in society. I am thrilled to see the numbers of women in medicine increasing and the expansion of the diversity of these women. We bring a very different perspective and one that is very important to see represented.
As Director of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and in the various administrative roles I hold at Cooper, I consider it my responsibility to mentor women as well was help to overcome barriers that may limit their ability to participate and contribute fully in the healthcare environment.
Be it in mentoring students (high school students, college and medical school), residents and fellows, as well as junior faculty, it is important that we continue to encourage and support young women to pursue careers in health care. We need to encourage women to continue to push the envelope and to aspire to higher roles in their fields and their communities.
Despite the significant advances seen in the roles of women, much more needs to be done and it is up to all women to help move that needle.
Generosa Grana, MD, FACP
Director, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
Professor of Medicine
To the future women in STEM:
You are needed and wanted in this profession. You can achieve your dreams. You will have struggles but you will never be alone. Seek us out; we are here to help you. You can have a family and a career without sacrificing one for the other. We support you and we are rooting for you. #womensupportingwomen # NWPD #IAMBLACKWELL
Danielle L Behrens, DO
Assistant Professor of Medicine
I am a physician, a reconstructive surgeon and I am a mother. In my profession I deal with problems related to birth and the unintended consequences of childbearing. I feel that being a woman helps me see both sides of the story, to connect with my patients and help them get better. Since I too am a mother, I understand what my patients have been through; and, as a physician I can use my knowledge and skills to them get better and improve their quality of life. This also means educating my patients and I can do that from a female perspective. It happens through sharing similar experiences in life. Being able to personally relate to my patients is a very powerful thing.
Lioudmila Lipetskaia, MD, MSc, FACOG
Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon and Urogynecologist
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
I’m proud to be a woman physician here at Cooper. Being a working mom (of 2 little girls!) is not easy, but I’m fortunate to have support from my department and am lucky to work with so many female colleagues who have been fantastic role models, helping me grow both professionally and personally.
Jillian C Smith, MD
Attending, Department of Emergency Medicine
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
May we use our feminine strength, compassion, dignity, and grace to care for the patients before us, support those around us, and inspire the women physicians who come after us.
Catherine E Loveland-Jones, MD, MS
Breast Surgeon and Surgical Oncologist
Assistant Professor of Surgery
There is a cheerleader inside of you. Find her and keep her close! Do not let others’ and your own self-limiting beliefs get in the way of your dreams.
Preeti Sudheendra, MD
Medical Director of Quality Improvement
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Medical Oncology
To young women interested in being a physician:
You are needed. Women are naturally caregivers, nurturers, and generally good listeners, which are all crucial skills when caring for patients. As a woman physician, I must say it is a joy being able to care for female patients in my new role at the Ripa Center for Women’s Health and Wellness at Cooper. Being there and learning from my patients helps me hone in on how to best meet the unique health care needs of women. Aside from being a doctor, I am also proud to be a mother and a wife. I was fortunate enough to have other female physician mentors along the way who gave me advice and encouragement around how to make it all work with my family, building a career, and caring for patients.
Continuing to have an increased presence of females in the physician workforce is so important. Much more needs to be done to continue to support women in achieving their dreams in medicine. But each day, we push a little farther and that is what it is all about.
Camille P Green, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Primary Care Physician
Assistant Professor of Medicine
When I started in cardiology more than 20 years ago, women were underrepresented in cardiovascular clinical trials, with much less evidence-based medicine for women. We have more research on women and coronary disease. We also now see more women than men enrolled in medical school. Women are trickling up. We are beginning to see more women as chiefs and deans. In the 21 years that I have been practicing medicine, I’ve seen a sizeable shift. . . . Medicine has changed for men and women alike. We are not your father’s doctors! We must embrace the changes in medicine, continue to learn and mentor our next generation of physicians.
Kathleen M Heintz, DO, FACC
Assistant Professor of Medicine
“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” – Marie Curie. This is one of my favorite quotes from a woman who was a pioneer in radiation oncology. A ‘female STEM superhero’, first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman in history to ever win it twice, and the only human to ever win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences.
Stuti Ahlawat, MD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
Here at Cooper, we are fortunate to have five female trauma surgeons on staff, comprising 50 percent of our trauma surgery staff of physicians. This complement of female trauma surgeons is almost unheard of in trauma centers around the country where many do not even have one female trauma surgeon on staff.
Cooper, one of only three state-designated Level 1 Trauma Centers in NJ, is the only hospital in the Delaware Valley/Philadelphia region that provides trauma care for both adults and children. Each year, Cooper treats more than 4,000 patients, making it one of the busiest trauma centers in the state. Nearly 15 percent of those treated are children who are severely injured in motor vehicle crashes, falls, accidents, and acts of violence. Cooper is the only hospital in South Jersey and the second among New Jersey’s Level 1 trauma centers to achieve verification as a Pediatric Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.