New display at college library examines women in medicine

Workers set up a new display on the 3rd floor of the Tomlinson Library on Women in Medicine.

Mesa State College’s Tomlinson Library will honor women in medicine and reflect the changing face of the medical field this summer, with their first display from the American Library Association in more than 25 years.

“Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians” opens to the public Thursday morning on the third floor of the library.

The interactive, multimedia display was part of a larger exhibit, which showed at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., from 2003 to 2005.

It has since traveled to much larger universities across the U.S., most recently in Tufts University’s Hirsh Health Sciences Library in Boston.

The display follows the struggle of women, despite being natural healers, to establish credibility within the medical profession. It tells the story of historical figures such as Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to earn a medical degree in 1849.

Many of the struggles women as doctors have experienced in the past are still faced today, according to the display.

“It shows the progress that women have had over the years, and serves as a reminder for the students in our programs who are up and coming that there are still a lot of options out there for them,” said Betsy Brodak, library director.

The display includes computers that are directly linked to the National Library of Medicine, where hundreds have chosen to share their own personal stories about the medical profession.

Brodak is encouraging local physicians, nurses and medical support staff to take the time to tell their stories as well.

“This brings a certain amount of national recognition for us and we don’t want the Western Slope to be left out of that,” she said.

To support the display, which closes July 17, the library has scheduled several presentations from a variety of local doctors including Dr. Gary Andreoletti and Chris Ganzer, Dr. Michael Pramenko, Erika Jackson, Susan Walker and Dr. Scott Rollins. They will discuss a variety of subjects including migraines, health reform, mental health, worldwide outreach and holistic medicine. A complete schedule is available at

Putting on the display is a complicated and competitive process that took library staff more than two years to complete.

“As our campus is growing, we need to grow,” Brodak said of their plan to continue to seek these types of displays for the community.

The library has been selected to receive two more national displays — “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” will be on display in the fall, and “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” will arrive in 2013.


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