Briscoe Library to host celebration of women in medicine exhibit

SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 2, 2008)—“Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians,” a traveling exhibition of women physicians’ inspiring stories from the mid-1800s to the present, is coming soon to the UT Health Science Center’s Dolph Briscoe Jr. Library.

The exhibition celebration—free and open to the public—is set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in lecture hall 3.104A near the library at the Health Science Center’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Campus, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive.

Loretta P. Finnegan, M.D., an expert on issues related to women’s health and a longtime medical adviser to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will discuss “Women in Medicine: Passion, Challenges and Accomplishments.”

Graciela Cigarroa, co-chair of the Council for Excellence in Women’s Health at the Health Science Center, will introduce Dr. Finnegan. William L. Henrich, M.D., M.A.C.P., dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs, and Mary Henrich, council co-chair, will also participate in the opening of the exhibit. A reception will follow Dr. Finnegan’s speech.

The event is being held as planned despite a recent disruption to the traveling schedule. The exhibition is at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and cannot be moved to San Antonio for an unspecified period until Galveston Island cleanup from Hurricane Ike progresses. However, “South Texas Stories,” a companion exhibit produced by the Briscoe Library, is on display in the lecture hall foyer where it may be viewed until the end of 2008.

The national exhibition tells the extraordinary story of how American women who wanted to practice medicine have struggled over the past two centuries to gain access to medical education and to work in the specialty of their choosing. The local exhibit includes the stories of South Texas nurses, midwives and physicians.

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) was the first woman to earn an M.D. degree in America. She received it at Geneva Medical College of New York in 1849. An upcoming campus event sponsored by the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics in the School of Medicine will focus on Dr. Blackwell.

Today, among many other distinctions, a woman has served as surgeon general of the U.S. (Antonia Novello, M.D.) and another woman has served as editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (Catherine DeAngelis, M.D.).

Health Science Center faculty members Martha Medrano, M.D., M.P.H., and Adela Valdez, M.D., who are featured on the notable physicians companion Web site to the exhibit, will be recognized during the opening celebration.

The National Library of Medicine and the American Library Association organized the exhibition with support from the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health and the American Medical Women’s Association.



The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit

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