October 1998 Bulletin

NIH video promotes women in medical careers

Victoria M. Stevens, MD, appears in a NIH video, "Women are Scientists."

More than a year ago, the National Institutes of Health's Office of Research on Women's Health and Office of Science Education in Bethesda, Md., brainstormed to see what educational efforts would entice middle school females to venture into the fields of science and medicine.

The result was a series of three 28-minute videos entitled, "Women are Scientists," and collateral materials that extol positive attitudes about women in medicine and science.

The educational campaign will kickoff this month at the National Association of Biology Teachers Conferences in Fairfax, Va. and the video, posters and brochures will be distributed at other national and regional conferences for biology and science teachers. The video will be broadcast on cable channels.

"The middle school years is a very crucial period because many kids turn off to science," stresses Vivian W. Pinn, associate director for research on Women's Health, director, Office of Research on Women's Health. "This video series will encourage young girls to consider careers in medical sciences and to be encouraged and inspired by the women who are featured in each."

The first video portrays the lives of three women surgeons from different ethic backgrounds. They include: Victoria M. Stevens, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon practicing in Globe, Ariz., who is a native American and member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe; Rosalyn Scott, MD, an African-American cardio-thoracic surgeon at Charles Drew Medical College in Los Angeles, Calif.; and Yvette Laclaustra, MD, a Cuban trauma surgeon practicing at St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"Their achievements should provide positive motivation for girls to aspire to similar careers in a field that for too long was denied to significant numbers of women in medicine," says Pinn.


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