HealthEd

Celebrating Women in Medicine Month

Osmosis Team
Sep 15, 2019

It’s Women in Medicine Month, a time to celebrate the incredible, inspiring work performed by women working in the health professions around the world. There are so many innovative and inspiring women working in the medical field, and it hasn’t been an easy road. Shout-out to all the women who are working to make a difference, in particular, the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). We teamed up with AMWA to talk about women who inspired them to pursue a career in medicine. Here’s what a few of them had to say: 

“A woman who really inspires me is my mom. When my parents got divorced when I was 15 years old, my mom had to re-enter the workforce after being out of it for 20 years. She found it difficult to find a job so she took it upon herself to go back to school. Now she’s a licensed financial advisor and got her MBA! I am so proud of her and look up to her everyday. Part of what drives me to success and be able to provide for myself is seeing how my mom has overcome the struggles of needing to provide for herself later in life.”

Alena Cave, California Northstate University College of Medicine, Class of 2022

“It’s been incredible watching my mentor, Dr. Olayiwola, and her work grow. She is a mother of two, a clinical professor at UCSF, and has published many books. What is most inspiring about her is her personal mission to mobilize and level up the playing field for women of minority status. She helped me realize the social responsibility of being a physician goes beyond clinical interactions. I am so happy that she is my mentor!”

Angie Zhang, California Northstate University College of Medicine, Class of 2021

“A woman that has inspired me is Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. She is the woman who helped discover the lead in the water during the Flint, Michigan water crisis. We share the same ethnicity and she is an immigrant. So it’s great to see a woman like her rise up and become a physician is amazing, and also seeing all the community work she has done is extremely inspiring.”

Aryana Sharrak, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Class of 2021

“My mother is a stay-at-home mom but she has inspired me to always serve and be a friend to everyone. She instilled in me this independence and the drive to be whoever I want to be.”

Haley Shumway, Rocky Vista University, Class of 2021

“One woman that has truly impacted my life is my mother. She drives me to be the best person I can possibly be. I am so grateful for her!” 

Janet Nwaukoni, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2020

“The woman who has inspired me the most is my mom. She is a wonderful example of a woman who has risen above expectations. She works incredibly hard to provide for the family. She was able to raise kids while earning her PhD in chemistry! I am so proud to be the daughter of a woman who has excelled in the sciences.” 

Jenny Lin, Indiana University Medical Scientist Training Program, Class of 2020

“One of the many women in my life who has inspired me was my Aunt Patti. She was a family medicine physician and taught me that the patient should not only be treated for their physical well-being, but also in terms of their mental, emotional, and spiritual health.”

Lexie Ranski, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Class of 2021

“My biggest inspiration is my mom because she is a boss-woman who has always taught me to reach for my goals!”

Nirali Patel, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2020

“One woman who has inspired me is Haley Shumway. She was my mentor for the first couple years of medical school and inspired me to become the AMWA president of my school.”

Rachel McCann, Rocky Vista University, Class of 2022

“The woman who has inspired me to go into medicine was my grandmother. She was a pediatrician in Russia. When she moved to the United States, she unfortunately had to give up her medical license to make it work. It’s been really great to follow her footsteps in this way.”

Rebecca Yanovsky, Tufts University School of Medicine, Class of 2020

“Gloria Steinem is really inspiring to me and is also so important in the feminist movement. She was incredibly influential during the Roe v Wade supreme court decision, and an overall advocate for not only women’s rights but any marginalized group whether it be based on race, age, gender, etc. Steinem has dedicated her life to fighting injustice and doing what is right.”

Tess Hill, California Northstate University College of Medicine, Class of 2021

“One of my biggest inspirations is my grandmother. She always wanted to go into healthcare but didn’t get the opportunity. So I’m going to medical school in her honor.”

Tori Drzyzga, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Class of 2021

Thank you to all the women who have dedicated their time and talents to the field of medicine. Happy Women in Medicine Month! Hear the AMWA members’ stories of mentorship and inspiration below. Who has inspired you? 




About AMWA
The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization of women physicians, medical students and other persons dedicated to serving as the unique voice for women’s health and the advancement of women in medicine. The organization was founded by Dr. Bertha VanHoosen in 1915 in Chicago, at a time when women physicians were an under-represented minority. As women in medicine increase in numbers, new problems and issues arise that were not anticipated. AMWA has been addressing these issues for 95 years.