Feb. 3 is National Women Physicians Day

Feb. 3 marks the birthday of the first woman in the U.S. to earn a medical degree. Elizabeth Blackwell earned that degree in 1849. Times have changed since then as women currently account for almost a third of all physicians.

In observance of National Women Physicians Day, Dr. Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, M.D., UTHealth-PM&R/TIRR Memorial Hermann, shares some of the career opportunities in medicine for women. .

There are 964 students at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. Of those, 471 (49 percent) are women and 493 (51 percent) are men.

For the first time, in 2017, the amount of women enrolling in U.S. medical schools has exceeded the same for men, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Women account for more than 60 percent of pediatricians and more than 51 percent of obstetricians/gynecologists, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In an effort to increase awareness of the importance of a physician-led healthcare team and female physicians' roles in medicine, Physician Moms Group and Medelita founded Feb. 3 as National Women Physicians Day. Physician Moms Group successfully celebrated the first National Women Physicians Day on Feb. 3, 2016. 

The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared National Women Physicians Day in 2017.