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Medical students recognize Penn State Health physicians as part of Women in Medicine Month

September is Women in Medicine Month.

Throughout September 2020, Penn State College of Medicine’s chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association is celebrating the many accomplishments of exceptional physicians at Penn State Health.

These physicians have been nominated by medical students.

See more about women in science at the College of Medicine here


A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Dr. Melissa Boltz

Melissa Boltz, DO

Melissa Boltz, DO

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery (Division of Trauma, Acute Care and Critical Care Surgery)

Affiliate, Penn State Cancer Institute

Students say Dr. Melissa Boltz, a surgeon specializing in emergency general and endocrine surgery, is a role model because of her medical knowledge, technical skills and how she treats her colleagues and patients.

“Dr. Boltz has left a lasting impression on me,” one student said, “reminding me that it is on every one of us to create a better work environment in medicine and how one person’s simple caring actions can lead to positive experiences for others.”

Read more about Dr. Boltz here


A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Alawia Suliman

Alawia Suliman, MD

Alawia Suliman, MD

Professor, Department of Pediatrics (Division of Academic General Pediatrics)

Dr. Alawia Suliman, a general pediatrician at Penn State Children’s Hospital, was recognized by medical students as having “respect for patients, dedication to her craft, and kindness.”

According to one student, “I would not be pursuing pediatrics if she had not showed me the joys of caring for children.”

Read more about Dr. Suliman here



A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Amanda Cooper

Amanda Cooper, MD

Amanda Cooper, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery (Division of Trauma, Acute Care and Critical Care Surgery)

Affiliate, Penn State Cancer Institute

Dr. Amanda Cooper, a surgeon who specializes in trauma, acute care and critical care surgery, has been recognized as an exemplary woman in medicine for her “empathy, dedication to improve diversity at Penn State College of Medicine and humanism.”

When asked about her work with learners, one student said, “Dr. Cooper is the embodiment of the kind of surgeon I aspire to be in the future. She has provided a different and inspiring perspective of how to be a surgeon while remaining committed to public health.”

Read more about Dr. Cooper here


A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Rebecca Phaeton

Rébécca Phaëton, MD

Rébécca Phaëton, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Member, Penn State Cancer Institute (Next-Generation Therapies research project team)

Dr. Rébécca Phaëton, a gynecological oncologist, has been recognized by multiple students as an exceptional woman in medicine who is “brilliant, yet humble,” “exhibits an infectious resilience” and “continually challenges the glass ceiling.”

She motivates students and trainees to “have a realistic optimism [and to] create opportunities for oneself when they don’t exist.”

Students admire her dedication to inspiring and training the next generation of female physicians.

Read more about Dr. Phaëton here


A head-and-shoulders photo of Karima Fitzgerald

Karima Fitzgerald, MD

Karima Fitzgerald, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery (Division of Trauma, Acute Care and Critical Care Surgery)

Dr. Karima Fitzgerald, a trauma, acute care and critical care surgeon, was recognized as a standout woman in medicine and is described as “an amazing advocate for her patients and for medical students and residents who are underrepresented in medicine.”

As a Black woman in surgery, she is applauded by medical students as a woman who “has persevered through the many obstacles of being a double minority in a demanding field and now chooses to spend her free time guiding and inspiring others to do the same.”

Read more about Dr. Fitzgerald here



A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Ami DeWaters

Ami DeWaters, MD, MSc

Ami DeWaters, MD, MSc

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Division of Hospital Medicine)

Dr. Ami DeWaters, a hospitalist, “is looked up to in multiple arenas of practice, including teaching, research and evidence-based systems practices,” according to students.

One student commended Dr. DeWaters’ assistance in leading the inpatient COVID-19 response, calling it a “reflection of her courage, strength and clinical expertise” and noted that her diligence and attention to detail does not waver as she balances multiple responsibilities.

Read more about Dr. DeWaters here



A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Cynthia Chuang

Cynthia Chuang, MD, MSc

Cynthia Chuang, MD, MSc

Kenneth V. and Eleanor M. Hatt Faculty Fellow in Internal Medicine and Professor, Department of Medicine (Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine)

Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Cynthia Chuang, an internal medicine practitioner, is described by students as “personable, intelligent, hard-working and a shining example of a successful and well-rounded female physician.”

She is looked up to as a leader in the Division of General Internal Medicine and is known for her excellent clinical skills, leadership within the Department of Medicine, passion for mentorship and finding time for family, traveling and hobbies as a physician.

Read more about Dr. Chuang here


A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Jessica Ericson

Jessica Ericson, MD

Jessica Ericson, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics (Division of Infectious Diseases)

Dr. Jessica Ericson, a member of the pediatric infectious disease unit, has been recognized as an exceptional woman in medicine who is described as being “incredibly knowledgeable, patient and kind.”

One student commented that Dr. Ericson has been “integral in the hospital response to COVID-19 while balancing research and her personal and family life. As a mentor, she helps her students reach their career goals and facilitates their success.”

Read more about Dr. Ericson here

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