Imborek sees bright future for women in medicine leadership

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 Katie Imborek, MD.

katie imborek

Why is it important to recognize women in medicine?

Because women make up 50% of the population and 50% of medical students, yet only make up 16% of medical school deans, 18% of department chairs, and 25% of full professors. Nationally, in 2017, male physicians earned 27% more than female colleagues for an average of $105,000 per year.

What made you decide to pursue a career in medicine?

I always knew that I wanted to go into a healthcare field and completed one semester of physical therapy school before changing paths to go to medical school. I have found my calling in Family Medicine, specifically caring for patients identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ). As a lesbian, I feel so honored to be able to provide high quality and respectful care for a community I call my own.

What makes University of Iowa Health Care different for women pursuing careers in medicine?

University of Iowa has a long history of equal opportunities for women. The university’s first medical school class in 1870 consisted of 37 students, eight of whom were women. This is a place where women are supported, uplifted, and recognized.

How do you see women impacting the future of medicine?

I see women continuing to do what we have always done: provide excellent care for our patients while being outstanding colleagues. I think that as more women occupy positions of leadership in medicine, we will see a greater push toward eliminating health disparities for marginalized populations, a strong focus on diversifying our physician workforce, and a commitment to conducting research in ways that account for differences between males and females.

What is a hobby of yours outside of work?

I love to follow the Chicago Cubs and try to find time to go to at least two ballgames every year with my wife and our two sons.

This year’s theme for Women in Medicine month is “Women in Medicine: Trailblazers, Advocates, Leaders.” What does this theme mean to you personally?

I love this year’s theme! One of the favorite parts of my job is being part of the team at UI Community Clinics. Much of our leadership team is made up of amazing women–health care administrators, nurses, and providers–who remind me every day of how we are changing how we deliver healthcare in our communities. As much as I love the clinical part of my job, I love the administrative part of my job, mainly because of the opportunity to work beside these women.