International Women’s Day: 4 Women Who Changed Healthcare

This year for women’s history month, we are highlighting four notable healthcare heroes who made groundbreaking contributions to their respective fields while fighting tirelessly to shatter the glass ceiling and open up opportunities for other women. Join us to learn more about these inspiring women and their accomplishments. 

Marie Curie was a physicist and chemist who lived in the early 20th century. She is best known for discovering radium and polonium which laid the groundwork for the development of X-ray technology and cancer treatments. In 1903, she became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and she is the only woman to win two Nobels in two different sciences.

Patricia Bath was an American ophthalmologist and inventor who, in 1988, became the first Black American woman to patent a medical invention. She is best known for her work on cataract surgery and the development of the Laserphaco Probe, a device used to break up cataracts using laser energy. Her invention has helped restore sight to millions of people around the world.

Letitia Geer was an American nurse who invented the modern-day medical syringe in 1899. Before her invention, syringes had to be operated with two hands. Greer’s design replaced those cumbersome syringes with a simple and easy-to-use model that became popular among physicians. Her invention helped to improve sanitation and paved the way for future advancements in medical technology.

Virginia Apgar was a physician, researcher, and obstetrics anesthesiologist who improved outcomes for infants around the world by developing the APGAR score in 1952. The Apgar score is a system used to assess the health of newborn infants by rating “Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity and Respiration.” after birth to quickly determine if further intervention is needed. Thanks to her work, many more infants now survive birth than ever before.