Being a woman in medicine is not easy.
While your male colleagues are called “Doctor,” you’re called by your first name.
If you’ve noticed this before, you’re not imagining things or being sensitive. After it happened to physician and Mayo Clinic associate professor of medicine Julia Files in front of a large crowd at a conference, she decided to see how common this practice is.
Files’ resulting paper, “Speaker Introductions at Internal Medicine Grand Rounds: Forms of Address Reveal Gender Bias,” was recently published in the Journal of Women’s Health. It shows that when a male introduced a speaker, he used the formal title for other men 72.4% of the time, but used it for women only 49.2% of the time.
As a woman in medicine, though, you are hardly alone. Last year, a record number of women enrolled in medical school. Between 2015 and 2016, medical schools saw a 6.2% increase in female enrollment, the highest rise since 2006. As of 2015, women make up nearly a third of all practicing physicians, and they comprise the majority of pediatricians and obstetricians/gynecologists.
Twitter is a great place for connecting with your fellow female physicians and for keeping up with the latest tips and trends in medicine.
Here are 11 female physicians you should start following today, if you aren’t already.
1. Dr. Marjorie Stiegler
Dr. Marjorie Podraza Stiegler is a medical director, anesthesiologist, and patient safety advocate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She comes down firmly on the side of “yes,” on that issue, with a very active and informative Twitter presence, where she shares links about patient safety, medical decision-making, and professional development to enhance physician leadership.
Follow Dr. Stiegler @DrMStiegler
2. Dr. Jennifer Gunter
Dr. Jennifer Gunter is a board-certified OB/GYN in both Canada and the U.S. She’s also board-certified in pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
In addition to publications in USA Today, KevinMD.com, and others, Gunter also blogs on her own site. “I also am fascinated with social media and how we can use it to build a better internet,” Gunter writes on her “About” page. “I’ve written about Twitter, online reviews, and why I think doctors should blog.”
Dr. Gunter’s Twitter feed is informative and challenging, covering topics ranging from the fact that the U.S. federal government refuses to track maternal deaths to efforts to combat pseudoscience, including the idea that “all disease starts in the gut.”
Follow Dr. Gunter @DrJenGunter
3. Dr. Krystal Evans
Dr. Krystal Evans is CEO of the BioMelbourne Network. As a medical research scientist, Evans is focused on developing a new malaria vaccine. As a science advocate, she organized the 2011 Melbourne “Rally for Research” to highlight public support for continuing medical research funding in Australia.
You can hear Dr. Evans on Melbourne community radio station 3RRRFM’s weekly science show “Einstein‐a‐go‐go,” where she is a regular panel member. Communication and outreach are essential parts of being a research scientist and proponent of evidence-based medicine, and Dr. Evans excels at both.
On Twitter, Dr. Evans shares links to a range of topics including interviews on research into sleep routines and behaviors that help kids with ADHD, as well as interviews with women in STEM fields, such as Sue Barrell, Chief Scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology Victoria.
Follow Dr. Evans @dr_krystal
4. Dr. Leslie Saxon
Dr. Leslie Saxon is a professor of clinical medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine, where she specializes in cardiac arrhythmia diagnosis and treatment and how to prevent sudden cardiac death. Saxon is also executive director of USC Center for Body Computing (CBC) and USC Virtual Care Clinic (VCC).
The CBC facilitates “connected” medicine by fostering interdisciplinary relationships between USC schools including medicine, engineering, business, and the cinematic arts, as well as public and private sector partners.
Dr. Saxon is an expert on medical, wellness, and fitness wearables and implanted technology, including networked device preclinical and clinical development and testing. Catch her talks at TEDMED, South by Southwest (SXSW), WIRED Health, and CES.
On Twitter, she shares stories about virtual care clinics “staffed” by physician avatars, and also about the ways smartphone apps are revolutionizing healthcare.
Follow Dr. Saxon @DrLeslieSaxon
5. Dr. Val Jones
Dr. Val Jones is medical director of admissions at St Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute. She’s also founder and CEO of Better Health, a syndicated blog platform intended “to support and promote healthcare professional bloggers, provide insightful and trustworthy health commentary, and help to inform health policy makers about the provider point of view on healthcare reform, science, research, and patient care.”
Jones writes posts on topics such as the fact that health insurance is not a guarantee that a patient will receive the services they need and the hows and whys of deprescribing.
On Twitter, Dr. Jones shares her own writing along with the research of others. She’s tweeted links to research showing that yoga works nearly as well as physical therapy to treat moderate lower back pain. She also shared an article on how a skin patch flu vaccine has been shown to work as well as a flu shot.
Follow Dr. Jones @drval
6. Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi
Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi is a family physician and director of the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program.
She is the health disparities team chair at Family Medicine For America’s Health and a former fellow in faculty development with an emphasis in caring for minorities and underserved populations at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
She is also on the executive council as a member-at-large at the World Organization of Family Doctors’ (WONCA) and World Health Organization (WHO) liaison to the United Nations’ Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
With a focus on population health and global health, Dr. Martinez-Bianchi tweets about the population health implications of medical tourism. She also shares news about how many EHR vendors are moving away from developing for fee-for-service reimbursement and moving toward new platforms intended to facilitate population health.
Follow Dr. Martinez-Bianchi @vivimbmd
7. Dr. Vinny Arora
Vineet Arora, M.D., M.P.P. is a director of GME Clinical Learning Environment Innovation and the assistant dean for scholarship and discovery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
She is an internal medicine professional who advises students and residents about their future medical careers.
Her Twitter shares reflect her interest in ways to use technology to improve medical education and patient care. For example, she recently shared “6 incredible uses of medical virtual reality.”
Follow Dr. Arora @FutureDocs
8. Dr. Diane E. Meier
Dr. Meier is director at the Center to Advance Palliative Care and a professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Meier tweets on topics such as how technology can help save costs associated with medical care. In her retweets, she advocates against unnecessary and redundant testing for better patient care and cost savings. In another tweet she says “duh” to the study finding a link between caregiver health and lower medicaid costs.
She also uses Twitter to assert her view that both urgency and balance are needed when it comes to ending the opioid epidemic.
Follow Dr. Meier @DianeEMeier
9. Dr. Jennifer Arnold
In her Twitter bio, Dr. Arnold describes herself as “Mommy, Neonatologist, Simulation Educator, Cancer Survivor.”
You might have seen her in her capacity as co-star of the TLC reality show The Little Couple. She recently became a medical director at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, a Johns Hopkins medical center.
Jennifer advocates relentlessly for children’s health. Her tweets go from being pro-vaccine to pro-Medicaid in topic. A recent tweet from The Washington Post features Dr. Arnold, her husband, and two children meeting with Rep. Pete Olson (R-Tex.) as she lobbies Congress for her pro-child views.
Follow Dr. Arnold @JenArnoldMD
10. Dr. Katherine Chretien
Dr. Katherine Chretien is an internist and associate editor at JGME & MEDU. She’s also founder and editor of Mothers in Medicine, and she recently became an assistant dean for the George Washington School of Health and Medical Sciences.
Her tweets are timely, informative, and funny. She once asked whether attending too many workshops on resilience could lead to burnout: “Testing theory at #aamc16.”
Follow Dr. Chretien @MotherinMed
11. Dr. Jen Brull
Dr. Jen Brull is a family practice physician in rural Kansas, and she is the only U.S. physician to get a Software Advice electronic health records all-star rating in two categories. She’s also a CDC-recognized Hypertension Control Challenge Champion.
On Twitter, she extolls the virtues of using her patient portal technology for time saving and ease of use and participates in discussions about whether to use antibiotics for viral infections in patients (don’t). She discusses how to help patients trust the doctor’s judgement and what tests can be used to “prove” that a sickness is viral.
Follow Dr. Jen Brull @mrsbrull
Your favorite women in medicine
Obviously, there are more than 11 amazing women who are physicians, and who are also active on Twitter. Let me know who my most glaring omissions are in the comments.
In the meantime, check out “6 Strategies ER Doctors Can Use to Fight Stress.”
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