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The ISMA salutes all women physicians and notes some milestones
e-Reports, Sept. 19, 2011
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September is Women in Medicine Month, but in every month the ISMA recognizes the contributions and successes of female physicians, especially those in Indiana.

Since 1849 when Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female medical school graduate, women have made tremendous strides in our profession. Between 1980 and 2009, the number of female physicians increased 430 percent. Women comprise nearly a third of all U.S. physicians and half of all U.S. medical students.

For our organization
This past year, the ISMA Bylaws were amended to formally establish the Women in Medicine Committee, which began as a task force. Duties of the new committee include working to increase ISMA membership and participation of female medical students, residents, fellows and physicians.

Resulting from Resolution 10-43, the new committee is led by Maria Del Rio Hoover, M.D., of Evansville and Heidi Dunniway, M.D., of Indianapolis. The group continues to grow, now meeting regularly at the ISMA Annual Convention and holding a spring meeting with both business and social elements.

“The ISMA Women in Medicine Committee provides a forum to specifically address concerns and share experiences unique to female medical students, residents and physicians,” said Dr. Dunniway. “We are also focusing on mentoring and leadership development, which is another important contribution the Women in Medicine Committee is making to the ISMA. We encourage any interested women in the ISMA to participate.”

For all women
Empowering women physicians and promoting women’s health benefits not only our profession, but also our state and nation.

Rohr-Kirchgraber, M.D.
Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, M.D.

Recently, ISMA member Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine and pediatrics at IU School of Medicine, was appointed the new executive director of the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber will lead efforts to achieve the center’s central mission, “To Improve the Health of Indiana Women.” She explained, “We need to make an impact on women at all stages of their lives.”

The center develops and disseminates best practices in women’s health, convenes organizational collaborations and works to inform policymakers about the implications of policy decision on women’s health.

It also organizes and administers programs to raise statewide performance in areas of specific concern, such as cervical cancer screening, in which Indiana ranked 46th out of 50 states, yet screening rates declined from 2007-2010.

“Health care is more than just an appointment with a provider, it is about the daily choices we make, how we feed our families, how we include activity in our daily lives, how we model good, healthy habits – which includes preventive care. These small, daily efforts will improve the health of all.”

Learn more about the IU Center on their website.

Women in Medicine
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