Forging the Path: Honoring ASRM Female "Firsts"
Date: February 03, 2024
In honor of National Women Physician Day and our ever-growing number of female ASRM members, we are excited to share a bit of history about women in ASRM. From the early days of ASRM and Fertility and Sterility to the organization of the ASRM Women’s Council, which still thrives today, we celebrate the women who came first and laid the groundwork for female representation in a once male-dominated society.
Walter E. Duka, MS, and Alan H. DeCherney, MD, collaboratively published a history of ASRM titled, From the Beginning. We pulled a few fun facts about the women in our history below.
- Dr. Helen Gladys Kain, who joined what was then The American Society for the Study of Sterility, is believed to be the first female member of ASRM. She joined in 1946.
- Dr. Frances E. Shields was the first female author to appear in Fertility and Sterility and contributed to an article on Artificial Insemination as Related to the Female in May 1950.
- Dr. Georgeanna Jones was the first female to serve on the board of directors from 1971 to 1974 and the first female President of ASRM in 1971.
The Women’s Council was organized in 1982 by Drs. Nancy J. Alexander, Anne Colston Wentz, Sandra A. Carson, Carolyn B. Coulam, Florence P. Haseltine, and Dorothy E. Mitchell-Leef, to serve as a forum for networking, research, and collaboration. Since Dr. Jones, numerous women have served as ASRM President, including ASRM’s current President, Dr. Paula Amato.
Countless women leaders, volunteers, and staff members (not just physicians!) have contributed to the Society's work. We celebrate those women who paved the way and thank all of the women who continue to help move the needle in reproductive medicine.