Why We Celebrate National Women Physicians Day

In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first licensed woman physician in the US, only after being allowed to attend medical school as a joke. Now, almost 17 decades later, female physicians are continuing to shatter glass ceilings despite the challenges in the field of medicine with truly inspiring origin stories and remarkable accomplishments.

Observed February 3, National Women Physicians Day honors the work of Dr. Blackwell, along with the millions of doctors who continue to pave the way for future female generations.  Founded and launched in 2016 by ambassador Hala Sabry, DO, the now nationally recognized holiday highlights women's triumphant success rates, as well as their chronically stunted recognition and compensation therein.

"When I think of Dr. Blackwell, who was accepted into medical school as a practical joke, I am grateful for how far we've come," said Dr. Sabry. "The fact that women are entering the medical field in increasing numbers is a tribute to pioneers like her. It's important to remember their stories and maintain the progress so every little girl who dreams of becoming a doctor won't hesitate because of her gender."

 

"When I think of Dr. Blackwell, who was accepted into medical school as a practical joke, I am grateful for how far we've come," said Dr. Sabry. "The fact that women are entering the medical field in increasing numbers is a tribute to pioneers like her. It's important to remember their stories and maintain the progress so every little girl who dreams of becoming a doctor won't hesitate because of her gender."

Dr. Sabry is a board-certified osteopathic emergency medicine physician and super mom of five- with two sets of twins!  After years of infertility, she found that balancing motherhood and a career in medicine was challenging, but her unique skill set in experiencing this allowed her to help other parents in the medical field.  

Because she frequently fought through fear, negative self-talk, and a recurring desire to quit her job, (and she knew other physician moms were experiencing the same struggles), she founded Physician Moms Group (PMG), in an effort to bring together these women to collaborate and support each other while also sharing their medical knowledge in an open forum.

PMG hosts thousands of discussions yearly on topics affecting roles as a parent and physician in current times, as well as annual retreats and conferences where members can extend their online community to in-person.  

Last year, MEDELITA partnered with PMG with a Pop Up Shop at their conference in San Antonio, Texas.  There ladies could stop by to try on one of our premium stretch lab coats between exciting educational panels on adult, pediatric and surgical medical topics.  Members were celebrated at a black tie gala benefiting UNICEF where our founder, Lara Francisco, PA-C, was the recipient of the PMG 2020 Educator Award.  Parents were encouraged to take part in yoga, a fun run, and other activities because child care was provided daily.

This year, as we step into a new milestone in history with the first female Vice President in office, it is abundantly clear that there are millions of little girls across this country looking up to women like Vice President Harris and Dr. Sabry, as beacons of hope for the countless women still facing gender inequality.

As part of the movement, MEDELITA continues to be a brand that passionately advocates for women’s hard-won advances and countless innovations in medicine because physicians are often trained not to ask for help or self-promote.  But if we are to change the landscape of professional respect, we have to raise awareness of the issues being faced, and we have to celebrate each other. 


If society will not admit of a woman’s free development, then society must be remodeled. - Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell

Send a NWPD gift to a female physician colleague, family member or friend HERE.

HOW TO OBSERVE NWPD


In honor of National Women Physicians Day, let’s recognize the achievements of women physicians on social media! We’d love to feature you or your female colleagues to celebrate your role in patient care and the advancement of women in medicine.

Tag your nominee and share what inspires you or them to be a strong woman in medicine, using the hashtags #NWPD and #ThisFemPhysicianCan, and include @medelita_gram or @medelita so we can share it with our distinguished community! 

MEDELITA Ambassador Features:

  • Hala Sabry, DO
  • Charis Chambers, MD
  • Tina Yang, DO
  • Lindsey Zubritzsky, MD
  • Jacqueline Segelnick, DO
  • Aamisha Gupta, MD
  • Monica Kieu, DO

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