Mathews highlights the perspectives women bring to patient care and research
Each September, the AMA recognizes Women in Medicine to "showcase the accomplishments of women physicians." This year, UI Health Care is celebrating our providers for the work they do, including Katherine Mathews, MD, FAAN.
Why is it important to recognize women in medicine?
Medicine has historically been a male-dominated career path. It is important to show girls and young women making career choices that this is no longer the case. In addition, in some situations women bring a perspective to patient care and medical research that differs from their male colleagues. This additional perspective can improve patient care and enhance medical and scientific knowledge.
Who was a mentor to you that made an impact in your life? Why?
William Bell, MD was one of my child neurology mentors. He was a superb clinician and had an amazing fund of knowledge. He was not effusive but made me feel like I could grow into being a child neurologist at a time when there were few women in neurology.
What words of advice would you give to younger women hoping to begin studies or a career in medicine?
Work hard, do work that you love, and be kind to others and to yourself. Don’t allow someone else’s definition of success direct your work choices.
What is a hobby of yours outside of work?
Reading non-medical books. I have been a longtime fan of mysteries—not thrillers, but Sherlock Holmes-like mysteries. I recently have been reading more non-fiction, biographies, autobiographies, and non-medical science.
This year’s theme for Women in Medicine month is “Women in Medicine: Trailblazers, Advocates, Leaders.” What does this theme mean to you personally?
This theme reminds us that while most diseases are named for men, and most senior leadership positions are filled by men, women play a vital role in advancing care and knowledge in medicine.