Women in Medicine Month was created by the American Medical Association to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of a growing number of women in the profession. At EnMed, women in the class of 2023 also represent the school’s first group of women physicianeers.
They discuss what it means to not only be a woman in medicine in 2021 but also be part of the first group of women to pursue degrees through the revolutionary integrated curriculum.
“Women in medicine are more likely to experience impostor syndrome when compared to their male colleagues. A supportive training environment can help overcome feelings of self-doubt. As part of the small number of female physicianeers, I’m grateful for the support Texas A&M and Houston Methodist affiliates have provided me in my training to feel empowered in this field.” – Priya Arunachalam
“To me, being a woman in medicine means empowering the generations after me to break barriers and not be afraid to be the only woman in the room. It means leveraging our diverse backgrounds to advocate for our patients and for future generations of women with an interest in medicine. It means speaking up and not letting our differences hinder us from our true potential to create change. Being the first group of women physicianeers is humbling and exciting. I love being able to apply my love for science and research to my future career and having the opportunity to innovate and change the face of medicine by applying my engineering background.” – Antara Dattagupta
“Women are a bigger part of health care than ever now, and it’s great that we are going into medicine in a time where women are rightfully respected leaders. Finally, the world is seeing that we can bring a lot to the table because of our femininity rather than in spite of it. Having the opportunity to be in the first group of physicianeers is amazing as we get to blaze the trail for both women and men alike in this new technical field.” – Lauren Fitzgerald
“Women have always managed to find creative solutions to the issues that they and others faced, and that legacy is part of the reason I love being a woman physicianeer. Women are needed in both engineering and medicine now more than ever, and I have loved going on that journey with the women in my class.” – Amelia Khoo
“For me, being a woman at the intersection of medicine and engineering means using my background to pursue innovation in reproductive health. As an EnMed student, I’ve been able to put this to practice by getting involved with projects investigating early detection and treatment pathways of ovarian cancer. I hope that I can inspire young people to pursue reproductive health research by showing them that it is an area teeming with opportunities for new discoveries and interventions.” – Cailin O’ Connell
“As an aspiring surgeon and a member of the first class of women physicianeers, it has been an honor to set an example for and mentor many future female physicianeers. With this responsibility and knowledge arises the motivation to break into new spaces and stretch the boundaries of what surgeons and engineers have traditionally accomplished and offered in their fields. As I continue on in these historically male-dominated fields, I look forward to contributing further to groundbreaking medical innovation and the culture of mentorship that we have cultivated in this space thus far.” – Ashmi Patel
“As a woman in medicine and engineering, I am constantly aware of the resilient women who came before me and made it possible for me to have the opportunities I have today. I am also increasingly recognizing the importance of bringing new voices, perspectives and ideas to the table. Diversity in health care benefits our patients, and it’s important that we challenge the status quo and advocate for representation that reflects the society we live in.” – Sanjana Ranganathan