This Women’s History Month, we spoke with Morgan Bresnick, MD, FACS, specialist in general, bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton, about her experience becoming a surgeon as a woman in a male-dominated space.
Dr. Bresnick knew that health care was her calling from a very young age. By early elementary school, she was set on becoming a surgeon, though she didn’t have any female role models in the medical field to look up to at the time. What she did have, however, was support from her parents who never let the fact she was a woman interfere with her goals.
It was in adulthood that she first met other women who shared her career interests and offered her mentorship. “Many of the female mentors I had as a resident were true trailblazers,” she said. “First generation women in surgery, truly giants in the field upon whose backs I stand."
But paving the way as a trailblazer doesn’t come without challenges — and neither did Dr. Bresnick’s journey to becoming a surgeon. “I think that being a woman has meant I have had to prove myself over and over again, both to patients as well as to fellow health care providers,” she told us.
When asked how about how she’s navigated that challenge, she discussed her commitment to providing her patients with the highest quality of care possible. “My approach to this has always been to let the quality of my patient care stand for itself and eventually, I would gain recognition.” And her approach has proven successful.
As more women pursue careers in the health care field, Dr. Bresnick wants to see them be treated as equals to their male counterparts. “I am hoping that when other young women enter the medical field, particularly surgery, they can see a pathway already forged for the career and lifestyle they are hoping for,” she says. “And that they are immediately looked upon with respect, not having to prove their worthiness to be there.”
“If I can contribute in any small way to further forging that pathway, then I have been successful.”
About Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton (BID Milton) is a member of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals. More than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees share in a mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.
BID Milton is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,600 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.