Meet the Pioneering Women of Emergency Medicine

Nancy Auer, MD

Auer - Color

  • 1998 Elected First Woman President of ACEP
  • 1998 President of International Federation of Emergency Medicine
  • 2000 President, Washington State Medical Association
  • 2001 John G Wiegenstein Leadership Award, ACEP
  • 2005 Present Chief Medical Officer, Swedish Hospital, Seattle, WA

Pam Bensen, MD, MS


  • 1971 Founding member of first Emergency Medicine Residency Program (Cincinnati)
  • First Woman Elected to the ACEP Board of Directors


Diane Birnbaumer, MD


  • ACEP Outstanding Speaker of the Year Award
  • ACEP Outstanding Contribution to Education Award
  • California ACEP Education Award

Michelle Biros, MD, MS


  • Past Editor-in-Chief, Academic Emergency Medicine
  • 2009 SAEM Leadership Award




Diana Fite, MD


  • 1995 First Woman President of Texas ACEP
  • 2013 ACEP James D Mills Award
  • 2007 ACEP Council Meritorious Service Award
  • Has chaired numerous ACEP Committees



Marsha Ford, MD


  • 2012 President, American Association of Poison Control Centers
  • ACEP Council Meritorious Service Award
  • Director, Carolinas Poison Center


Gloria Kuhn, DO, PhD


  • Past President, AWAEM
  • Associate Editor, Academic Emergency Medicine
  • Board of Directors, Michigan ACEP





Debra Perina, MD


  • 1991 President, South Carolina ACEP
  • 2001 President, CORD
  • 2009 President, American Board of Emergency Medicine
  • 2013 Board of Directors, ACEP





Laura Pimental, MD


  • Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Past President, Maryland ACEP
  • CMO, University of Maryland Emergency Medicine Network





Lynne Richardson, MD


  • Vice Chair for Academic, Research and Community Programs, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai
  • New York City Board of Health





Sandy Schneider, MD


  • 2010 President, ACEP
  • Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester
  • President, SAEM





Judith Tintinalli, MD, MS


  • Editor-in-Chief, Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine
  • Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of North Carolina
  • Founder and First President, CORD
  • 1981 James D Mills Meritorious Achievement Award, ACEP
  • 1990 ACEP National Education Award
  • 1996 SAEM Leadership Award



Legacy Videos

AWAEM interviewed 12 of the inspiring women who were the first to enter emergency medicine and take on leadership roles in our specialty, paving the way for current and future generations. Meet them and hear what they have to say here. 

Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Our pioneers describe barriers they faced in medicine and emergency medicine due to their gender, and how they overcame them. 

Losing a Patient
Losing a patient is always difficult, no matter the circumstance or how long you have been practicing. Hear our pioneers reflect on their own experiences and coping mechanisms. 

Women of Emergency Medicine
Our pioneers reflect on their careers and lives as emergency physicians. 

Talking Success
The pioneers have been leaders in ACEP, SAEM, ABEM, CORD, and other organizations. Learn their tips and tricks for success. 

Giving Advice
Looking back on your career, what advice would you give to your younger self, and to women entering emergency medicine today? 

Why I Chose Emergency Medicine

How and why did our pioneers choose to enter the field of emergency medicine at a time when it was particularly new and non-traditional?

Dr. Birnbaumer, Dr. Schneider and Dr. Kuhn Roundtable Discussion

Dr. Perina, Dr. Benson, Dr. Pimentel and Dr. Biros Roundtable Discussion

Dr. Fite, Dr. Ford and Dr. Auer Roundtable Discussion