Written by: Zein Kattih & Heather Chen
Dr. Janice Werbinski is an inspirational Board certified obstetrician-gynecologist in Kalamazoo, MI. For 15 years, Dr. Werbinksi served as the medical director of women’s health at Borgess Medical Center. Previously, she served as the medical director of women’s health at a different hospital and has been working on women’s health issues for over 20 years through AMWA committees and other organizations.
She is currently the executive director of Sex and Gender Women’s Health Collaborative, an initiative that aims to develop sex and gender competency in medical institutions and across the healthcare profession through providing educational resources. Looking toward students to speak out for covering gender differences relating to disease.
Dr. Werbinksi graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1975 in a class that included 10 women. Her first experience with gender differences within the healthcare field was during her application cycle, as that was the first year the Medical College of Wisconsin had a 10% women composition in the admitting class after receiving state funding and being mandated to admit more women. It was during anatomy lab that she had her first experience of a group of women speaking out about changes that accommodate women’s health. Throughout her practice, too, she has encountered instances of sexism, most notably when she began directing a women’s clinic that was seen as competition to her male private practice OBGYN counterparts.
Dr. Werbinksi was drawn to OBGYN since medical school, and she encourages all students to follow their dreams. “You can do anything you want,” she says, so you should not pick a field simply because it is convenient. Her experiences with managing a family and a successful career, as well as her contact with female colleagues, who have had similar successes, prove that it is possible to strike a balance. In her career, her female mentors and colleagues, and many male mentors, have been crucial to her continued growth and encouragement to seek her dreams and continue striving forward.