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University of Minnesota Celebrates America’s Women Physicians

By Erinn Aspinall, MSI, AHIP
Special Projects Librarian
Health Sciences Libraries
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

The University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries hosted the National Library of Medicine’s Changing the Face of Medicine traveling exhibit from October 25-December 5, 2010.  This exhibit celebrates the many contributions of women physicians.  The Libraries planned several events in concert with the exhibit to honor the past, present and future of women in medicine.

The opening reception featured four accomplished women physicians: Dr. Deborah Powell (Dean Emeritus of the University of Minnesota Medical School), Dr. Patricia Simmons (Mayo Clinic clinician, University of Minnesota Board of Regents member), Dr. Judith Kaur (Mayo Clinic clinician) and Dr. Kathleen Annette (Acting Deputy Director for Field Operations at the Indian Health Service).  Each of these speakers provided their personal stories about how they found their path to medicine and how they have made a difference to their patients, their students, and the profession.

The Health Sciences Libraries also celebrated the future of medicine by showcasing the research posters of the Minnesota’s Future Doctors students.  This program assists minority, immigrant, rural, and disadvantaged students in becoming a doctor.  Poster topics included research on depression, cancer, prenatal care and smoking cessation, and several posters focused on research within the students’ own communities.

A Work/Life Balance luncheon seminar was co-sponsored by the Women in Medicine Student Group and attended by more than 125 students.  Dr. Carolyn Torkelson (University of Minnesota), Dr. Gretchen Rasmusson (Abbott Northwestern Outpatient Care) and Ruth Rounds, MA (Founder of Life Dimensions, Inc.) shared their experiences and expertise in finding balance between managing a demanding career and raising a family.

The closing event was the one-woman play “A Lady Alone” performed by Linda Grey Kelly.  This play highlights the life of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor to graduate from medical school.   It was co-sponsored by the Friends of the Libraries.

For more information about the exhibit, including event programs, please see the Libraries’ exhibit website at: .

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