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A poignant, funny, personal exploration of authenticity in work and life by a woman doctor.
In 2017, Dr. Suzanne Koven published an essay describing the challenges faced by women doctors, 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 nearly 300,000 times by readers around the world, Koven’s “Letter to a Young Female Physician” has evolved into a work that reflects on her career in medicine, in which women still encounter sexism, pay inequity, and harassment.
Koven tells engaging stories about her pregnancy during a grueling residency in the AIDS era; the illnesses of her son and parents during which her roles as a doctor, mother, and daughter converged; and the twilight of her career during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Letter to a Young Female Physician offers an indelible eyewitness account from a doctor, mother, wife, daughter, teacher, and writer that will encourage readers to embrace their own imperfect selves.
About the Author: Suzanne Koven, MD, is a primary care physician and writer-in-residence at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe and Psychology Today, among other publications. A member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Koven lives outside Boston.