WOEMA Celebrates Women’s History Month

The JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee invites you to join WOEMA in celebrating Women's History Month. Through our celebration, we recognize the achievements and contributions made by women throughout American history.

Women in medicine have made immense contributions to advancing science. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the US in 1849.1 Dr. Blackwell initiated the movement that helped women gain entry and equality in the field of medicine. Dr. Alice Hamilton pioneered and championed occupational and health safety, improving workplace safety and making the nation's workplaces less dangerous.2 , 3 4 5

We continue to see women physician leaders in OEM paving a path of innovation to promote occupational and environmental health and safety. The history of WOEMA is rich with such women physicians, and it will be exciting to see where the next generations will lead the association. Even though gender disparities and inequities persist in medicine (see graphic below), we must continue to be aware of these disparities and take action to reduce them in all areas of medicine, including OEM, to ensure optimal patient care. Especially considering that outcomes among patients cared for by women physicians are superior. For example, in one study of over a million patients undergoing a variety of surgeries, patients with male surgeons had a 25% higher mortality at 90 days post-surgery than those with female surgeons.6

In celebrating Women’s History Month, we salute the scores of women in medicine, science, and technology who have improved workplaces and the lives of workers and improved the course of the future. Closer to home, we also honor the women who have served as Presidents of WOEMA and thank them for being our mentors and role models.

Past WOEMA Women Presidents:

  • Rupali Das, MD, MPH, FACOEM - 2022
  • Bernyce Peplowski, DO, MS, FACOEM - 2019
  • Ellyn McIntosh, MD, MPH, FACOEM - 2014
  • Leslie Israel, DO, MPH, FACOEM - 2013
  • Susan Tierman, MD – 2003
  • Pam Hymel, MD, MPH, FACOEM - 2001
  • Donna Baytop, MD, FACOEM - 1997
  • Jean Chapman, MD - 1983
  • Elizabeth Gresch, MD

Warm Regards,

Alya Khan, MD, MS, FACOEM
JEDI Committee Co-Chair

Rupali Das, MD, MPH, FACOEM
JEDI Committee Co-Chair

Max Blumberg, MD, MPH
UCSF OEM Resident, PGY-4