Women Physicians Day 2020

On Monday, Feb. 3, the nation observed National Women Physicians Day, celebrating the birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, our country’s first female medical doctor. We also recognized the progress and achievements of women in the medical field since Dr. Blackwell earned her degree in 1849.

At Geisinger, more than 600 female physicians practice across the vast spectrum of specialties and serve in leadership roles that shape and improve the lives of those in our communities.

Geisinger also takes special pride in its history as a health system founded by a visionary woman — Abigail Geisinger — in 1915.

As Geisinger has grown, so has its obligation to the women who care for patients, guide our vision and build their careers here. One example? The formation of an employee resource group that advocates for a first-class experience for Geisinger’s female employees. This group’s efforts have yielded a long list of workplace improvements, including the establishment of a parental leave policy that guarantees new parents two weeks of paid leave. This policy, offered at less than 15 percent of the nation’s hospitals, is available not only to parents who give birth or adopt a child, but also to foster parents and those who assume legal guardianship.

As a female physician at Geisinger, I’m proud that our efforts to bring fairness and equality to the workplace can be held up as a standard locally and nationally. It’s with this mindset that we took note of National Women Physicians Day, and celebrated the work we’ve done and look forward to continuing as catalysts for change and stewards for progress.


Jill Sharer, MD is a staff physician at Geisinger Community Medicine Lycoming.