National Women Physicians Day

National Women Physicians Day celebrates the women in the medical field, honoring them and recognizing their achievements. The day is observed annually on February 3, on Dr. Elisabeth Blackwell’s birthday – the first woman in the US to receive a medical degree in 1849.

Left to right: Dr. Elisabeth Blackwell, the first woman physician in the US; Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American woman physician in the US; and Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.

The idea to celebrate this day came from the Physician Moms Group, which registered it at the National Day Calendar in 2017. Celebrating National Women Physicians Day’s goal is to shed light on the progress women have made in the medical field since the 19th century as well as emphasize the discrimination that still exists in the 21st century. In 2020, only one-third of physicians in the US are female, and on average, they earn 8% less than their male colleagues, which sums up to an annual gap of $105,000. Also, every year approximately one-third of women physicians are reporting sexual harassment in the workplace.

There are many ways to recognize the day. First of all, you can thank your female physicians and show them your appreciation. You can do it in person or on social media, using the hashtags #NationalWomenPhysiciansDay, #NWPD, #IAMBLACKWELL, or #WomensDocsInspire. You can research and learn about women who made history and influenced the medical field, such as Elisabeth Blackwell, Marie Curie, Justina Ford, Florence Nightingale, and Virginia Apgar. You can also settle into your couch, grab a bowl of popcorn, and watch your favorite female doctors on the screen, such as Grey’s Anatomy, General Hospital, Scrubs, Carol’s Second Act, and more.

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