February 3rd is National Women Physicians Day, a day to celebrate and honor the many women doctors in the country and the tremendous progress they’ve made for healthcare. This unique tribute falls on the birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, who made her mark in medicine as the first woman to earn a medical degree and officially be recognized as a physician in U.S. history.
In honor of National Women Physicians Day, Dr. Jessica Best, Medical Director of Ally Medical’s South Austin facility, shares her inspiration for pursuing a career in healthcare.
Why did you choose to pursue healthcare as a profession?
“As a child, math and science were my strongest subjects. I don’t think I could even score in the 50th percentile for verbal reasoning, but science and math were nearly a perfect score. I was very intrigued by the human body and taking care of people. My mom worked for the airlines and would take us on mission trips around the world. I had enjoyed interacting with different cultures and giving back to those in need. I knew I wanted to combine these interests into a career. I didn’t come from a healthcare family; I didn’t really know what going to medical school and residency would entail, but I was always a hard worker, and I knew I was going to work to become a physician.”
Who do you look up to and admire for making a medical breakthrough or difference for women in the healthcare industry?
“When I was in elementary school, I had to write a paper on an influential female, and I chose Elizabeth Blackwell. To this day she will be, for me, the most influential person. She was the first woman accepted to a medical school in the United States. She helped to organize nurses during the American Civil War and opened a women’s and children’s infirmary with her sister.”
Why do you enjoy working in healthcare?
“Thankfully, I have not reached the point of physician burnout. I feel like my job is still enjoyable and I look forward to taking care of patients and seeing colleagues at work. For me, it is the surprise of not knowing what each day will bring. We see patients from all walks of life and with a variety of medical issues. I may see something new every day I go to work which keeps me on my toes and learning new things.”