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IntroductionSetting Their SightsMaking Their MarkChanging Medicine
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Celebrating America's Women Physicians

This exhibition honors the lives and achievements of women in medicine. Women physicians have excelled in many diverse medical careers. Some have advanced the field of surgery by developing innovative procedures. Some have won the Nobel prize. Others have brought new attention to the health and well-being of children. Many have reemphasized the art of healing and the roles of culture and spirituality in medicine.

Full face photograph of Tenley E. Albright, M.D.Full face photograph of Mary Ellen Avery, M.D.Full face photograph of Nancy E. Jasso, M.D.Full face photograph of Vivian W. Pinn, M.D.

Esther M. Sternberg, M.D.Full face photograph of Donna M. Christian-Christensen, M.D.Full face photograph of Nancy Lynn Snyderman, M.D.


Each woman physician has carved out her own unique path in the world of medicine. Sample that diversity by exploring the stories of the women presented here. View a video of the doctor describing her medical journey in her own words.

Setting Their Sights

Making Their Mark

Changing Medicine

Before women could build careers as physicians they had to fight even to be allowed to attend medical school. After proving that they were as capable as men, they went on to campaign for additional professional training and other career opportunities.

Recognizing the need for more diversity in medicine, women physicians have focused on increasing the numbers of women and minorities in the profession. They have brought issues such as women's health and affordable care for the underserved to the forefront and proposed new solutions.

Women physicians are serving in the highest ranks of the medical profession, caring for whole communities and responding to new challenges in health care around the world. As high-profile leaders they offer new examples of roles for women today, and they institute strategies to help more women reach the very top of the profession.

The Videos require the use of the QuickTime Player. Click the link to download QuickTime Player or view the text-only transcript.

National Library of Medicine