National Women Physicians Day on February 3rd commemorates the birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, the first woman in the United States to become a doctor. As we reflect on and celebrate the achievements of women in medicine, we asked our providers to share what inspired them to choose a career in healing and humankindness. Here is what they said.
“I chose a career in medicine because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives every single day. I love that the skills and knowledge I have accumulated over my years of medical training can be implemented in such versatile ways – from calming a worried mother regarding infant feeding schedules to recognizing and treating life threatening conditions. There is a lifetime of learning and bettering yourself and your community with a career in medicine.” – Dr. Julia Danser, Pediatrician, Dignity Health Medical Group in Stonestown.
“I'm humbled to be a physician and am always inspired by the incredible patients I meet. So grateful to be a part of their care and play a short role in their story. Grateful that I get to help women live their best life possible.” – Dr. Amira Zaid, OB/GYN, Dignity Health Medical Foundation in Davis.
“I chose medicine because it combined the two things that interested me most: science and people. I enjoy using the skills I have developed through hard work and dedication to help my community on their journey to a healthy life.” – Dr. Ashley Anderson, Family Medicine, Dignity Health Medical Foundation in Davis.
“Becoming a physician was a logical choice for someone that loved science and helping people. Now, over 20 years after making that choice, I see how much being a physician is as much a calling, as a choice. Helping people, utilizing the knowledge that I gained in medical school and residency, fulfills me in ways I could never have imagined.” – Dr. Christie Carroll, Dermatologist, Dignity Health Medical Foundation in Woodland and Davis.
“I knew from a young age I wanted to become a doctor because I loved my pediatrician and saw how much he helped those in need. I wanted to improve people’s quality of life so they could become the best version of themselves. Now I have the privilege and honor of seeing that dream come true every day and positively impacting patient’s lives.” – Dr. Sarah Whatley, Family Medicine, Dignity Health Medical Group in the Ventura Region
“My passion to help others and also to fill the need for medical care providers in my community. My father was a nurse during World War II and sparked my interest to be a medical provider. I feel fortunate to have a career in which I can continue to help others daily.” – Julianah Adenike Olabode, DNP, Dignity Health Medical Group - Merced
“Medicine has truly been my calling. Teaching young physicians is the most rewarding career I can imagine.” – Dr. Pamela Davis, Family Medicine, Dignity Health Medical Group – Northridge Family Medicine
“Don’t let others discourage you if you are passionate. Failure is often time the critical stepping stone to success.” – Dr. Ruth Espinoza, Family Medicine, Dignity Health Medical Group – Northridge Family Medicine
“Family Medicine gives me the opportunity to provide time continuity of care. I have the unique privilege of asking for patients from their first moment of life to their last moments of life. This to me has been the most fulfilling.” – Dr. Janet Li, Resident, Dignity Health Medical Group – Northridge Family Medicine
“I love the practice of medicine because it inspires me to think I have the opportunity to make a person feel much better tomorrow than they did today.” – Dr. Catherine Cho, Pediatrician, Dignity Health Medical Group – Northridge Family Medicine
“I'm happy I chose this career as it is very rewarding to be able to help people in need, and to facilitate people to lead a happier and healthier life.” – Dr. Zeba Yamin, Family Medicine, Dignity Health Medical Group – Bakersfield
“I have always wanted to be a doctor. I have always loved helping people and fixing things, and my work as an orthopedic surgeon allows me to do both. I am passionate about helping my patients function and feel better.” – Dr. Arati Dunbar, Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgeon, Dignity Health Medical Group – Sequoia.
“I chose a career medicine because I love being part of a large team whose goal as health care workers is to enrich the lives of others.” – Dr. Kimberly Hart, Pediatrics, Mercy Medical Group
“I chose medicine for my career for many reasons but after 30+ years what I find the most rewarding part of my practice is inspiring and helping people to take charge of their health and to be the best that they can be.” – Dr. Jane Lindberg, Internal Medicine, Dignity Health Medical Group in the Ventura Region
“As cliché as it sounds, when I was a child, I strove to become a doctor to 'help people.' Only as I grew older, I realized that it is not the only career to 'help people,' but rather it is one of the very few professions to have the privilege of someone entrusting me with their health and their life, and for that, I am forever honored and grateful.” – Dr. Azadeh Toofaninejad, Cardiologist, Mercy Medical Group
"Practicing the art of medicine is the highest form of compassion and involves mindfulness of the mind, body and soul." – Dr. Amardeep Singh, Interventional Cardiologist, Mercy Medical Group
"I chose a career in medicine because I wanted to be able to help those who needed help the most. A career in medicine allows one of the greatest opportunity to directly impact the lives of others and to be impacted by others. The impact can be everlasting and can transcend from one individual to a family or even to a community." – Dr. Natasha Kyte, Internal Medicine, Dignity Health Medical Group - Merced