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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

About Dr. Culbertson

Dr. Culbertson earned her medical degree from the The University of Virginia and completed her residency and fellowship at The University of Chicago. After spending 25 years in Chicago, she came to Geisinger, where she is now the chair of the Women’s and Children’s Institute. Dr. Culbertson loves working with her colleagues, and the variety and challenges that come with her job.

One fun fact about Dr. Culbertson:

After work, you’ll often find her in the barn, riding or taking care of her two horses, Snap and Winston.


We asked Dr. Culbertson 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?

I think healthcare found me. My original career plan veered heavily into the liberal arts. But, the more volunteer work I did in healthcare venues, I realized I could combine my love of science with something that ultimately would be more meaningful.  

Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced along your journey.

The persistent challenge has been how to balance all the responsibilities and roles I have:  physician, leader, mother and wife. I’ve realized that there’s no right or wrong way to do things; you need to figure out what works for you and not feel guilty about your decisions.  

Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something as a woman, or as a girl?

I grew up in the south many years ago; there were a lot of things I was told I shouldn’t or couldn’t do. Luckily, I had strong role models in my mother and grandmother who believed in me and supported me through my education and career choices.

What advice would you give to other women looking to get into the healthcare field?

Over 80 percent of healthcare employees are women, so it is a field that is very welcoming to women. However, the percent of women that advance to significant healthcare leadership roles is much, much lower. We need more women who aspire to leadership to enter healthcare and to help address issues of gender equity.
Sandra Culbertson
Sandra Culbertson, MD

Each woman has shared her story of her career journey, obstacles she’s faced and what International Women’s Day means to her. Read their stories:

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