Dr. Carrie DeLone grew up in Washington, DC, and earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Villanova University, received her master’s degree in physiology from Georgetown University, and earned her medical degree from Temple University. Today, she’s the medical director at Geisinger Holy Spirit, where she works to improve patient safety and coordination of care for patients. Last year, Dr. DeLone participated in a medical mission trip to Rwanda.
We asked Dr. DeLone a few questions about her career journey, obstacles she’s faced and what International Women’s Day means to her. Here’s what she said:
Why did you decide to pursue a career in healthcare?
Pursuing a career in medicine as a physician offered a wonderful opportunity to combine my love of science with the ability to help those in need. Medicine allowed me to continually learn and grow through education and experience.
Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something as a woman, or as a girl?
I was never told I “couldn’t” do something but rather that I “shouldn’t.” A recurrent comment I heard when deciding to be a physician was that I would probably fall short of being a dedicated mother and wife.
What do you think is the biggest issue women face today?
Juggling the responsibilities of family and career is the greatest challenge facing women. Having a helpful and understanding partner and carving out time for family is essential.
What advice would you give to other women looking to get into the healthcare field?
Healthcare is one of the best employment sectors for women. An immense number of options exist, including physician, advanced practitioner, nurse, imaging and laboratory personnel, and administration. Jobs are readily available in most areas. Leadership and advancement positions abound. Education is the key. If you are willing to continue your education, advancement from any level can easily be achieved. Many healthcare organizations offer tuition reimbursement to support their need for highly trained individuals.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s day is “Balance for Better,” focused on building a gender-balanced world. What does that mean to you? How can we make a positive difference for women everywhere?
Healthcare supports women and takes advantage of their caretaker and nurturing mentality. The number of women in the medical field exceeds that of men. However, the gender gap in pay is widening. The reasons are numerous. Women fail to advocate for their expertise and experience as confidently as do men. Females are more tentative about making demands. Contract negotiating skills are not taught during education and training. Female mentors are unable to coach skills they do not possess. Additionally, women are less likely to move their family for better pay. This puts women at a disadvantage. Women can and must take the lead to effect the change they deserve.