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Celebrating Women in Medicine on This International Women’s Day

March 8, 2021 is International Women's Day, a day we celebrate the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a better world with equality.  Women’s full and effective participation and leadership in of all areas of life and work drives progress for everyone. And especially in today's world, women are at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, as front-line and health sector workers, as scientists, doctors and caregivers. Thank you, all!

Here is what we know and celebrate about women in medicine on this International Women's Day. While this report by the  Association of American Medical Colleges is a few years old now, they remain good numbers reflecting national statistics for women in medicine today:

  • 36% of physicians in the U.S. are female; 19% are surgeons and only 6.5% are orthopaedic surgeons
  • 4 million women are nurses in the U.S.

But, today, women now outnumber men in medical schools:

  • 47% of medical students are women
  • 46% of residents are women
  • 38% of full-time academic medicine faculty are women
  • 15% of department chairs are women

When women lead, we see positive results. The theme for this year's International Women's Day is #ChooseToChallenge. It indicates that a "challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change." 

So, what is the history on International Women's Day, celebrated on March 8th? You'll probably be surprised to know that it dates back to 1908. March 8th is a special day as it is the day when women began as a labor movement. On this day in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. It was 1909 following that movement, that the first National Woman's Day was declared. Since, it has become an internationally celebrated event. 

For more in #IWD2021, visit

#IWD2021 also provides information to assist women to be in a position of power to make informed decisions about their health as part of the mission. Learn more here: