Women In Medicine: Illustrating Three Women's Pioneering Work in Medical Practice and Research


Women In Medicine: Illustrating Three Women's Pioneering Work in Medical Practice and Research



Both now and in the future, the study of medicine and its research is of utmost importance. Medical science has become one of the most important fields of study and application in the post-pandemic world. However, men have historically dominated this field, which has marginalised women and people of colour.

Women in medicine and research have barriers to advancing to top positions, are interchangeably referred to as nurses because nursing is a gendered profession, and other examples of how gender double-endangers them in the job. This gender pay gap is quite upsetting. Women who have made significant contributions to the field with their ground-breaking work must be recognised for their efforts.

Here are a few examples of women who have worked hard, were smart, and had a strong will to succeed in the medical industry.

S.I. Padmavati, M.D.

The first and most experienced cardiologist in India, Dr. Padmavati Sivaramakrishna Iyer was also known as the "Godmother of Cardiology." Dr. Padmavati was born in 1917 in what is now Myanmar during British administration. In 1942, during the Second World War, her family moved to India. She left Rangoon Medical College after receiving her diploma and moved abroad to continue her education.

She made the decision to go back to India after completing her education, research, and experience at prestigious American institutions including Harvard Medical College and Johns Hopkins Hospital. She became a member of the Lady Hardinge Medical College faculty. In 1967, she held the position of director-principal at Delhi's Maulana Azad Medical College.

Also created by Dr. Padmavati were DM, or Doctor of Medicine, programmes in cardiology and later other specialties. She also established the first catheterization lab in northern India. Dr. Padmavati founded the All-India Heart Foundation in 1962, and she also founded the National Heart Institute in 1981.

The Padma Vibhushan (1992) and the Padma Bhushan (1967), the second and third highest civilian honours in the nation, were given to Dr. S.I. Padmavati by the Indian government. Dr. Padmavati made significant contributions to Indian medicine. Many of her former pupils are now directors of cardiology in both India and other countries thanks to her extensive knowledge and fervour, which single-handedly reshaped the cardiology industry.

Dr. Ann Tsukamoto, M.D.

Unique and undifferentiated cells are stem cells. These have the unique capacity to change and grow into different types of cells in the body. Stem cells are used to replace the body's aged cells. Since stem cells have the potential to significantly improve the treatment of deadly diseases, they have been the subject of extensive research. The only kind of stem cells now used in medicine is those used to treat blood diseases like leukaemia.

Dr. Ann Tsukamoto is a pioneering American researcher and stem cell innovator. Dr. Ann studied immunology and microbiology at the University of California, Los Angeles after graduating from the University of California, San Diego with her undergraduate degree.

Dr. Ann and her colleagues made the discovery of hematopoietic stem cells, also referred to as human blood stem cells, early in the 1990s while doing research. These stem cells are still forming since they are immature. These blood stem cells can differentiate into all other types of blood cells, including platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells.

The technique used to isolate these stem cells was also patented by Dr. Ann and her associates. Blood stem cell isolation is incredibly helpful for cancer research since it restores cells that have been destroyed by malignancy. Her expertise is essential to understanding how cancer patients' blood systems function.

The potential of stem cells to save lives in the future is quite vital, and Dr. Ann Tsukamoto has made significant contributions to the subject. They would also help scientists better understand how the human body works.

Dr. Ketayun Ardeshir Dinshaw, M.D.

Dr. Ketayun Dinshaw, who was born in Kolkata on November 16, 1943, studied medicine at Christian Medical College in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, and later completed a radiotherapy and oncology fellowship at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. She began working at the Tata Memorial Hospital after returning to India. She spent 35 years there as an employee and 13 years as its director.

The Indian government honoured Dr. K.A. Dinshaw with the Padma Shree in 2001 for her contributions to science and medicine. Her initiatives and zeal changed India's radiation oncology industry. Dr. Dinshaw put a lot of effort towards expanding Tata Memorial Hospital. She worked hard to introduce cutting-edge technology to India in order to improve cancer treatment and research.

About 20 oncology clinics nationwide have the telecobalt system, a ground-breaking radiation method that has also been donated to some poor nations. Dr. Dinshaw was a member of the group in charge of this.

She was not only orderly and thorough, but also compassionate. She has a soft spot for kids and women in particular. Since radiology and radiotherapy were initially practised together, Dr. Dinshaw also made an effort to earn a separate MD in radiation oncology. Additionally, she worked internationally with renowned organisations like the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Union for International Control, etc.

When asked about how she entered the field of radiation oncology, Dr. Dinshaw responds, "But for some reason, there was a little bit of a clawing nagging doubt in my mind, and I suppose it was an issue of needing to claw your way up to the top in those days, as a woman practising surgery." Dr. Dinshaw died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 67. She heroically battled cancer on both a personal and professional level. She left a lasting legacy on cancer research, and her demise was mourned by friends, relatives, and medical professionals all around the nation.

Women who have achieved success in the medical sector have done it through hard work and perseverance, overcoming barriers including gender bias and glass ceilings. Women are underpaid and underrepresented in the field due to ingrained biases and discriminatory attitudes that still exist. Even though the situation has improved, we still have a long way to go before we reach parity.


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