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Fort Worth emergency room doctor says there's a shortage of women in her field

Fort Worth doctor says there's a shortage of women doctors in emergency rooms
Fort Worth doctor says there's a shortage of women doctors in emergency rooms 01:54

FORT WORTH — Women and girls make up roughly half the population of the United States but only about 36% of doctors nationwide. Although, one Fort Worth doctor is trying to change that.

Dr. Lisa Williford is the only full-time female emergency room doctor at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. In recent years, more women doctors have joined her in the ER, but it hasn't always been that way. 

"I think there was a time especially when I was starting out, when things were a lot more challenging, and it was easy to feel underestimated," said Dr. Lisa Williford.

While 34% of emergency medicine residents are women only 27% become emergency room doctors. Dr. Williford has discovered being a woman has actually helped her be a better doctor. 

"For me personally its an easy outflow for things that are natural to me as a woman which are empathy and connecting with people," said Dr. WIlliford.

She's working to inspire more young women to take the leap into emergency medicine. She's mentoring and training undergraduate students as scribes as a regional director for ScribeNest.

"I think college students, especially female college students, have a lot of questions. I think there are probably some misconceptions about whether or not you can have a family and things that you're interested in outside of work and still have a career in medicine," said Dr. WIlliford.  

It's a balance she's working to maintain in her life.

"I think that's the fun part about being a female physician because we are pulled in a lot of directions that our male physicians may not be. I'm in a mom; I have three kids. I have a teenager and a 7-year-old," said Dr. WIlliford. "There's a lot of stress that we see, so being able to compartmentalize and not take that home is an important thing that I've learned over the years ... It's not impossible. It's hard, but its so worth it."

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