Thomas Jefferson UniversitySidney Kimmel Medical College

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Women in Medicine & Science

Jefferson … will make no distinction of sex or color, among applicants for admission…

Winged Ox

In 1961, JMC, now known as the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), opened its doors to female students for the first time. Since then, SKMC has increased its representation of female students, faculty members and senior leaders to be on par with national standards or better. In the coming years, we look forward to making even greater contributions to advancing the status of women in medicine.

Women represent half of all medical students today – but does that mean women have completely caught up with men in medicine?

Last year, the Association of American Medical Colleges reported that women comprised 48 percent of accepted applicants and 49 percent of graduates; in 1965, women comprised just 9 percent of accepted applicants and 7 percent of graduates.

Celebrating 50 Years of Women at Jefferson Medical College
Hamilton Lubert

Today, nearly 40 percent of U.S. physicians are women, a milestone reached with difficulty in many cases. Female physicians who earned their degrees when men still greatly outnumbered them often recall blatant discrimination and harassment.

Currently, women serve as Deans at 16 U.S. medical Colleges, or 12 percent. The count, which includes one Acting Dean and two Interims, shows significant growth from a decade ago, when only 5 percent of Colleges had female Deans.

Jefferson alumnae have become academic leaders, renowned surgeons and dedicated humanitarians, caring for the underserved not only in their communities but around the world.

“Medical Colleges should be conscious to have women represented in all specialties – all departments need to have diverse mentors throughout all faculty ranks. And we need to consciously play a better role in advising women students about career choices”

Karen Novielli, MD
Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs & Professional Development,
Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Sidney Kimmel Medical College (previously Jefferson Medical College) was founded in 1824 – Philadelphia became  the only city in the world with two medical Colleges, (University of Pennsylvania College of Medicine was established in 1765.)

In 1826 – The first class graduated from SKMC. The first doctors in the U.S., trained in clinical care practice, was established by Jefferson’s founder, George McClellan, MD