National Women Physicians Day was first observed in 2016, on February 3. This date marks the birthday of legendary female physician, Elizabeth Blackwell, a strong and influential figure who changed the career of medicine by becoming the first American woman to hold an MD. A true pioneer of her time, Elizabeth Blackwell continues to be an inspiring role model for thousands of women who dream of becoming a doctor, and her journey serves as a reminder to us all of how difficult the path to medicine is for women even today.
Today we celebrate the courage of Elizabeth Blackwell and celebrate the accomplishments of female physicians by setting aside February 3rd as a national holiday to honor these tenacious women and the obstacles they have overcome. Indeed, there is much to celebrate: in the year 2010 women made up nearly a third of the physician workforce (compared to 24% in the year 2000 and 11% in 1990), and this figure is expected to grow. Most recent statistics from the AAMC indicate that 47% of medical students and 46% of residents are women.
On National Women Physicians Day 2017, let us come together to honor and support the immense sacrifices that women in medicine have made for their careers, and let us continue pushing forward as a community to make medicine a more welcoming field for women across the globe. Join us as we “Celebrate Today and Pave the Way for Tomorrow!”