Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians

Sample Press Release

For Immediate Release
(MONTH, DATE, YEAR)
Contact: (LIBRARY CONTACT)
(TELEPHONE, E-MAIL)

(NAME OF LIBRARY) to host "Changing the Face of Medicine" traveling exhibition

Editor: Please do not delete sponsorship credits in paragraph three.

(CITY) – Women doctors are the focus of a new traveling exhibition opening at the (NAME OF LIBRARY) on (DATE). "Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians" tells the extraordinary story of how American women who wanted to practice medicine have struggled over the past two centuries to gain access to medical education and to work in the medical specialty they chose.  

Since the mid-1800s, when Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to earn an M.D. degree in America, women have made enormous strides in every area of medicine and have achieved success in work once considered "unsuitable" for women. Women physicians are now found in every branch of medicine. They are researchers on the cutting edge of new medical discoveries, educators, surgeons, family practitioners, specialists, and government officials. "Changing the Face of Medicine" features the life stories of a rich diversity of women physicians from around the nation and highlights the broad range of medical specialties women are involved in today.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), Bethesda, Md., and the American Library Association, Chicago, Ill., organized the exhibition with support from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health, and the American Medical Women's Association. The traveling exhibition is based on a larger exhibition that was displayed at the NLM from 2003–2005.

"Women have brought fresh perspectives to the medical profession," said Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., director of the National Library of Medicine. "They have turned the spotlight on issues that had previously received little attention, such as the social and economic costs of illnesses and the low numbers of women and minorities entering medical school and practice."

Women physicians in the 21st century are benefiting from the career paths carved out since the mid-19th century by a long line of American women. Some early physicians featured in the exhibition are Matilda Evans, the first African American physician to be licensed in South Carolina, and Florence Sabin, one of the earliest woman physicians to work as a research scientist. Among the many other doctors whose stories appear in the exhibition are Antonia Novello, the first woman Surgeon General of the United States, and Catherine DeAngelis, the first woman to be appointed editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Two interactive kiosks traveling with the exhibition offer access to the NLM's "Local Legends" web site (www.nlm.nih.gov/locallegends), which features outstanding women physicians from every state, and to a web site created for the larger exhibition at the NLM (www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine). The exhibition web site offers access to educational and professional resources for people considering medicine as a career, as well as lesson plans for classroom activities. A section of the web site called "Share Your Story," allows the public to add the names and biographies of women physicians they know.

"We are delighted to have been selected as a site for this exhibition," said (LIBRARIAN COORDINATOR OR DIRECTOR). "Although 'Changing the Face of Medicine' focuses on women in medicine, its lessons about persistence, dedication, and courage in one's life choices speak to everyone—men and women and young adults—and to people in all lines of work."

The (NAME) library is sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibition. Contact (TELEPHONE NUMBER, E-MAIL) for more information, or visit the library's web site at ( WEB SITE ADDRESS).

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