Letter to a Young Female Physician
Notes from a Medical Life
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 clever 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 gruelling 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.