Women Making a Difference in Medicine

On March 8, a global celebration of women’s achievements will take place for International Women’s Day. Dating back to the early 1900s with the push for women’s voting rights, this celebration continues to be a powerful platform that unifies the moments when women have made great strides.

Here in North Texas, Methodist Health System is proud to have more than 500 women physicians on its medical staff. Each day, these women play an invaluable role in healthcare and the progress that is taking place in the field of medicine.

Meet four of these physicians whose talent and dedication inspire us on International Women’s Day and every day.

Susannah Hambright, MD, FACS inside a surgical suite at Methodist Dallas Medical CenterSUSANNAH HAMBRIGHT, MD, FACS

General and hepatobiliary surgeon | Methodist Dallas Medical Center

A lifelong fascination with the physiology of the human body led Dr. Hambright to believe she would end up as a scientist. A two-year stint in a human genetics lab after college changed her mind. She realized that being in a lab would keep her too far removed from seeing the impact on patients. She wanted to see firsthand how patients benefit from medical research, and for her, the best way to do that was to become a physician.

Her favorite part of the day is the hours spent in the operating room, and she has a deep appreciation for the rapid, impactful changes that can be done with surgical procedures.

“Coming from a research lab background, I love how as a surgeon I can address a patient problem more quickly, make them feel better, and be witness to that evolution,” Dr. Hambright says. “In a lab setting, progress is much slower and often on a small scale.”

She strives to use her robotic operative skills and expand the breadth of patients that she can help with minimally invasive surgery. This includes her work as simulation lab director for the Methodist Dallas General Surgery Residency Program, through which she is helping the next generation of surgeons hone their robotic skills.

When asked what it means to be a doctor, she explains that for her, it’s about having a deeply gratifying career — one built on ensuring that her patients feel like she gave them good care, understood their disease process, and had a role in their healing.

As a surgeon who is married to a surgeon and stepmom to two school-age children, Dr. Hambright is adamant about the value of striking a work-life balance.

“Physician wellness is becoming more of a priority,” she says. “I’m much happier at work when I make time for my life outside of my job.”

On women in medicine: “I think what we all want is an equal playing field. We want to be measured by our work ethic and our commitment to our field and to our patients, not by anything else.”

Ronya Green, MD, MPH, CPE seeing patients at Methodist Charlton Medical Center Family Medicine Residency ProgramRONYA GREEN, MD, MPH, CPE

Faculty physician | Methodist Charlton Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program

Days that are unexpected and varied — it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s exactly how Dr. Green likes it. As a faculty physician, she spends half of her time teaching residents, a quarter on direct patient care, and the remainder on research.

“I grew up wanting to be a doctor, but the vision that I would be an educator came much later,” Dr. Green says. “During my family medicine residency, I noticed how much I enjoyed working with students and younger residents, so I chose to do a fellowship in academic medicine to gain teaching skills. I love my job as a faculty physician; it allows me so much variety.”

The Methodist Charlton Family Medicine Center, where she sees patients, draws in a large number of people from underserved communities, which, she explains, has resulted in both the best and worst parts of her days. As a doctor to extremely vulnerable patients, she gets to help impact the social, emotional, and educational determinants that influence their health. Equally challenging is facing the reality that often there is no quick fix for the circumstances some patients face.

“As a doctor, you want to fix things, but often the answer is joining patients on their personal journey toward a life well lived,” Dr. Green says. “The level of resiliency that I see from my patients is beyond rewarding.”

How does she stay inspired? “I’m very hopeful about the future of healthcare,” she says. “I think the tide is changing to a more comprehensive approach.” This optimism feeds her fire for inspiring the next generation of family medicine physicians. She hopes they will go on to provide comprehensive, compassionate medical care; work to diminish health disparities; and promote health equity.

On women in medicine: “Women are called to balance many different aspects daily. It can be challenging but also very rewarding. The balance act at which women excel makes us great physicians.”

Nancy Georgkutty, MD at the Methodist Family Health Center in MansfieldNANCY GEORGEKUTTY, MD, FAAFP, CPE

Family medicine physician | Methodist Family Health Center – Mansfield North

Some people know what they want to be from a young age, and Dr. Georgekutty is one of them. From the time she was 5, she wanted to be a doctor. For a fifth grade school project, she made business cards that said “Dr. Georgekutty.” She even chose an international university with a seven-year undergraduate plus medical school option to get her career started that much sooner.

“I have always been fascinated by how diseases affect people and asked myself, what could I do to alter that?” Dr. Georgekutty says. “My goals as a physician are to help people understand their health issues and how they can manage them better.”

In her role as a primary care provider, she loves how she is able to take care of entire families and build a rapport with them over the years. From newborns to grandads, the variety of patient visits filling her days was a big part of her decision to go into primary care.

An advocate of education, Dr. Georgekutty makes time to be involved on a local level with Mansfield ISD. She is a member of the Health Science Advisory Board for Ben Barber Innovation Academy, where she judges senior presentations for students enrolled in their Health Science Pathway. Additionally, she is a part of a new initiative, Parent University, where physicians visit local schools and present to parents on various topics to help their children grow in the current world.

“As a mom myself, I love taking my knowledge into the community and being a resource of information for parents,” Dr. Georgekutty says.

On women in medicine: “We have come a long way and struggled to gain equality in medicine. We have made a great deal of progress in that area. One of the hallmarks of women is our ability to wear so many hats — caregiver, nurturer, innovator, resource — and we bring that to medicine in a big way.”

Jenevieve Hughes, MD, FACS is a breast surgeon at Methodist Richardson Medical CenterJENEVIEVE HUGHES, MD, FACS

Breast surgeon | Methodist Richardson Medical Center

Born and raised on the East Coast, Dr. Hughes came to Texas 25 years ago to begin her journey to becoming a doctor. Graduating from Abilene Christian University first, then Texas A&M for medical school, Dr. Hughes has been with Methodist Richardson Medical Center for almost 10 years.

“In med school I thought I would go into family medicine, but I have such a passion for using my hands to fix things and a fascination with anatomy that breast medicine is the perfect fit for me,” Dr. Hughes says.

As a female surgeon and mother of two, Dr. Hughes is often asked how she manages those two demanding areas of her life. She is quick to reply, “It takes a village.”

She intentionally keeps a photo of her family in the reception area of her office so that her patients, mainly women who are also mothers, are able to connect with her as more than just their surgeon. For her, being a doctor is about the relationship with the patient. It is one marked by caring, guiding, teaching, and at times curing patients when they are in the middle of one of life’s greatest challenges.

“The best part of my career is getting to know patients on a very personal level and being able to be present and help them when they need it most,” Dr. Hughes says.

Dr. Hughes recently achieved a long-term goal of serving the hospital at an administrative level when she was elected president of the medical staff.

On women in medicine: “I think women are essential to medicine. We bring an equally valid perspective to patient care, and the women doctors who have come before me have made huge advances in equalizing the role of women in medicine. The voice of women in medicine is growing and will continue to grow, and it’s to everyone’s benefit.”

Methodist Health System is proud to boast four medical residency and five fellowship programs. To learn more about supporting the doctors of tomorrow, go to MethodistHealthSystem.org/Foundation.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System or any of its affiliated hospitals. Methodist Family Health Center – Mansfield North is owned and operated by MedHealth/Methodist Medical Group and staffed by independently practicing physicians who are employees of MedHealth/Methodist Medical Group. The physicians and staff who provide services at this site are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System or any of its affiliated hospitals.