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Perhaps the most important aspect of the rise of female physicians is that little girls view the profession as attainable.
For Dr. Tera Faust, a pediatrician, said that mindset has open all kind of possibilities for females in her profession.
Faust, one of three female doctors on Washington Pediatrics’ five-physician staff, said much has changed over the past 15 to 17 years.
“There had been a dramatic shift in mindset,” Faust said. “The biggest shift in in the acceptance of females physicians. We see women in all facets of medicine. It used to be unheard of for a female to be a surgeon or orthopedic surgery. Those are specialties that were male dominant.”
To honor female physicians, National Women Physicians Day is Thursday.
According to www.nationaldaycalendar, the “day marks the birthday of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell – the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States in 1849. Dr. Blackwell initiated the movement that helped women gain entry and equality in the field of medicine.”
In addition to celebrating Blackwell’s courage, it also marks the accomplishments of female physicians everywhere. At the same time, the day strives to bring improvements to the workplace for the growing number of women physicians entering the field of medicine.
“I think it’s almost funny that it has taken this long for females to be playing such a significant role,” Faust said. “The stereotypes were real.”
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine last year revealed women doctors earn on average 8% less than their male counterparts.
However, many males have females as their physicians and Faust said once young people reach their later teenage years, it seems it doesn’t matter to them to be attended to by a female or a male.
“In their early teens, you see a little more of boys wanting male doctors and girls preferring female doctors. Before those ages of 13-years-old to about 15- or 16-years-old, it’s about 50-50 of going to a female or male doctor,” Faust said.
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