LETTERS TO A YOUNG FEMALE PHYSICIAN
Suzanne Koven, author of Letters to a Young Female Physician will be in conversation with Susan Stagno on Wednesday, June 2nd at 7 pm. This is a virtual event, zoom link below.
In 2017, Dr. Suzanne Koven published an essay describing the challenges faced by female physicians, including her own personal struggle with imposter syndrome--a long-held secret belief that she was not smart enough or good enough to be a "real" doctor. Accessed by thousands of readers around the world, Koven's "Letter to a Young Female Physician" has evolved into a deeply felt reflection on her career in medicine.
Koven tells candid and illuminating stories about her pregnancy during a grueling residency in the AIDS era; the illnesses of her child and aging parents during which her roles as a doctor, mother, and daughter converged, and sometimes collided; the sexism, pay inequity, and harassment that women in medicine encounter; and the twilight of her career during the COVID-19 pandemic. As she traces the arc of her life, Koven finds inspiration in literature and faces the near-universal challenges of burnout, body image, and balancing work with marriage and parenthood.
"In Letter to a Young Female Physician, Suzanne Koven charts both the real and the spurious demands that the medical system makes on those who become doctors and care for us all. Her memoir is by turns reassuring and disturbing, comical and tragic, hopeful and dire. Medicine has advanced, but the particular difficulties facing young physicians have grown no less steep, and the impediments women continue to face even as they take a majority place in medical schools are considerable. Koven writes with style and wit and grace--but, more significantly, with insight and compassion."--Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree
Suzanne Koven is a primary care physician and the inaugural writer-in-residence at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Her writing has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Boston Globe, the Lancet, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications, and has been featured on National Public Radio. Dr. Koven lives with her family near Boston.
Susan Stagno is the Sihler Family Professor of Psychiatry at the CWRU School of Medicine. The recipient of the American Psychiatric Association’s Irma Bland Excellence in Teaching Residents Award in 2014, she led University Hospitals’ psychiatric residency training for eight years and continues to teach ethics to its residents. She is a member of the MHSM initiative advisory committee.