Celebrating National Women Physicians Day!

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.

“I am Cooper’s first (and only) female Professor of Surgery. I am proud to have that distinction, especially since across the US, only about 12% of Professors of Surgery are female. Early in my career, I had no local female mentors, and I am happy that I can provide that now to other young women faculty, residents, and students here at Cooper. I think it is important for women who are considering or entering non-traditional fields that they see others like them who have flourished, both professionally and personally.”

Martha S Matthews, MD, FACS
Medical Director, Cleft and Craniofacial Program
Associate Program Director, Plastic Surgery Residency
Professor of Surgery, CMSRU

“One of the best parts about my job is showing my young female patients, and the daughters of my adult patients, that a woman’s place is in the OPERATING ROOM!”

Christina J Gutowski, MD, MPH
Orthopaedic Oncologist
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Instructor of Orthopaedic Surgery, CMSRU

“I’ve always wanted a career in medicine, but it was often difficult to envision how that would look for a wife and mother.  Through my relationships with other female physicians acting as mentors, I have been able to pave my own path.  I take pride in the opportunity to help lead other women to a career in medicine.”

Kimberly Hurley, DPM, FACFAS
Attending Podiatrist
Program Director, Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency
Instructor of Orthopaedic Surgery, CMSRU

“As a physician, I am able to my intuition and knowledge to help patients and build good relationships. I undertake research to investigate interesting questions that help other women. I am also able to address reproductive issues in patients with neurologic diseases from a more familiar perspective.”

Melissa A Carran, MD
Cooper Neurologist
Associate Professor of Neurology, CMSRU

“When Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to graduate Medical School in 1849, she opened the door for many other women after her, who have changed the face of the medical profession.  Women physicians have not only contributed to advancing the field with their contributions to scholarly activity and research, their presence is reflective of the population they serve.  Women Physicians continue to push open new doors daily and are taking our seat at the table.”

Happy National Women’s Physician Day! #IAmBlackwell #WomeninMedicine #Ilooklikeadoctor #diversity

Lisa M. Reid, MD
General Surgeon
Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery, CMSRU

“As a woman in medicine, I believe in building a more inclusive community of physicians, serving a diverse community of patients. We cultivate and uphold the characteristics of teamwork, integrity and humility when working together toward a shared goal of providing the best patient care possible. Within the medical community as well as across all disciplines, the empowerment and engagement of women in education, outreach and skill-building is paramount to the success of any society. I am grateful and honored to serve my patients alongside my team of diverse, intelligent women.”

Stuti Ahlawat, MD
Radiation Oncologist, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, CMSRU

“Being in a position to mentor other women physicians has been extremely rewarding for me personally.  Having the opportunity to teach and offer support to students and residents along their career path keeps me grounded.  STEM careers can be a difficult road all on their own and finding a balance is imperative.   Promoting confidence and offering encouragement to each other makes us all more successful… as women, as physicians, as family members and in the community.  There are no unattainable goals.”

Joan M Jerrido, DPM
Podiatrist, Cooper
Instructor of Orthopaedic Surgery, CMSRU

“My interest in medicine began in my teen years and thanks to pioneers like Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, I had the opportunity to pursue my medical school dreams. In my 20+ years as a practicing Pediatrician, I’ve seen the worried faces of new moms, the struggles to balance career and family, and the many workplace challenges faced by women. I cherish the opportunity to turn those ‘lessons learned’ into empowerment for those pursuing their dreams, especially for the next generation of women physicians.”

Heidi J Weinroth, MD
General Pediatrician
Instructor of Pediatrics, CMSRU

“As a female physician and mother, I am privileged to connect with pregnant woman around the world, struggling to remain healthy in pregnancy despite a new cancer diagnosis. Often women opt to sacrifice their own treatment for any medical disorder, believing it is safest for the unborn child to withhold all therapies. To be able to tell a woman she does not have to choose between her own life and that of her child is the most rewarding part of my career. Pregnant women, whether diagnosed with cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression or other major medical disorders can have a healthy pregnancy without sacrificing their own health. Even with cancer, chemotherapy and other types of treatment can surprisingly be given during pregnancy while the placenta does it’s job of protecting the fetus. It is so gratifying to tell patients they can continue their medications during pregnancy without feeling guilty. The best way to have a healthy child, I reassure them, is for the patient herself to be healthy.  Nothing makes me happier than walking into my office and seeing the smiling faces of mothers diagnosed with cancer who were able to keep their pregnancies and present me with beautiful baby and family photos. I remain dedicated to the advancement of women’s health as it relates to medical disorders and cancer during pregnancy. To future woman physicians, do not underestimate the impact you will have, one patient at a time.”

Dr. Cardonick’s photo is taken in front of her photo wall of mothers who were pregnant with cancer and went on to have their own treatment in pregnancy while saving their child.

Elyce H Cardonick, MD, FACOG
Director, Cancer and Childbirth Registry
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist
Cancer and Pregnancy Specialist
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, CMSRU

“As a woman physician, I feel that I bring a different approach to the care of my patients. I have chosen to focus my practice on women’s health and in that setting I have a very personal relationship with my patients. I am now the mother of a female physician: my 28 year old daughter is currently a medical resident with an interest in a career in pulmonary/critical care medicine. Despite the challenges of raising a family and practicing medicine, I believe medicine is a wonderful career and am utterly thrilled to see her pursuing it. She has seen what it is like to live with a woman in medicine and has seen my love of patient care and my excitement around the advances in medicine. I am glad to see that she sees it as a career path worth pursuing. She has been able to look beyond the long hours, the constant change, and the demands of healthcare to the beauty of the physician/patient relationship. Ultimately that is what makes this job a true passion and mission.”

Generosa Grana, MD, FACP
Medical Oncologist
Director, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
Professor of Medicine, CMSRU

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