Judith Wible, M.D., $10,000 Scholarship for Visionary Women in Medicine

My mom is so awesome. Today she turns 75! So first things first . . .

Judith Pamela Wible

For the record: Judith Wible is a straight shooter. And she doesn’t take any BS. She scared the crap out of me as a child. 

My mom is not the typical mom. I never saw her in the kitchen as a kid. She doesn’t bake cakes and cookies. She doesn’t even use her stove. When she sold her house, the stove was actually still new—never used!

We do not have the typical mother-daughter relationship. We hate shopping. We hate cooking. No, we have never gone for a mother-daughter manicure. 

What do we do? We talk politics, psychology, and medicine. 

As a child, I spent nights hanging out with suicidal schizophrenics at the state psychiatric hospital with my mom. She’d read me her psychiatry journals before bed. She’d pause on every pharmaceutical ad—the distressed patient reaching for a Valium—and she’d ask me, “What do you suspect is going on in that woman’s life?” Classic move for a psychiatrist. Yep. She had me telling my own bedtime stories while she psychoanalyzed me.

She’s hard core. She had to be to graduate medical school in the 1960s! 

In 1965 my mother, Judith Wible, received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Of 160 graduates, eight were female. The dean and fellow students reminded the “girls” in the class that they were “taking a man’s seat” and they would never use their degrees. Even the anatomy professor refused to accept female anatomy and persisted in addressing women as men. Despite her protests, my mother remained “Mr. Wible.” Women were excluded from urology—from palpating male genitalia—while men dominated obstetrics and gynecology. Daily, the women were exposed to filthy jokes that demeaned female patients, and in the evenings they slept in cramped nursing quarters while the guys had fraternities complete with maids, cooks, parties, and last year’s exams. 

JudithWible

The dean and other medical school instructors actually accused her of being in medical school just to get a man! With the kind of behavior she witnessed in medical “men,” she had no interest in marrying one! Believe me. Mom is lesbian.

Mom and I graduated from the same med school. We recently attended her 50th medical school reunion (my 22nd reunion). No, she never married any men in her class. Though I got to meet several of her classmates who married nurses during med school—and then divorced them just before graduation! 

JudithWibleUTMB

So here we are in 2015. Though women are now 50% of medical school enrollment, we’re still held hostage to a patriarchal medical model that values a male construct of the world. It’s not working guys. You men need us—and not just for doing laundry and cooking.

 To support women in medicine, my mother has started the Judith Wible, M.D., Scholarship for Visionary Women in Medicine to help female medical students along their journey to become true healers.

If you’re a female medical student, a visionary who is overflowing with love and passion for health and healing, and if you have the Judith Wible invincible spirit, we encourage you to apply. Every year up to 3 medical students will receive $10,000 each toward their medical education so they can live their dreams.

To heal health care, we must first celebrate the women who have contributed so much to medicine. To learn about the history of women in medicine, read my chapter in Goddess Shift: Women Leading for a Change.

Meanwhile, to celebrate her 75th birthday, I’m treating Mom to her first manicure today. I’m sure she’ll consider it a total waste of money. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

P.S. She wouldn’t agree to the manicure, but she did let me take her out for margaritas 🙂

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19 comments on “Judith Wible, M.D., $10,000 Scholarship for Visionary Women in Medicine
  1. zainab aina-joshua says:

    Inspiring story! Reminds me that pioneering visionaries like your mum opened doors for me to be avle to follow my ambitions and study to become a doctor.

  2. Becky says:

    Happy Birthday!

  3. Great post! Inspirational and a really interesting insight into you. I love this story…it would make a great documentary!

  4. Elias Anaissie says:

    A fabulous story and a remarkable role model. Congratulations to Drs. Wible and Wible. I will have a Margarita today in celebration of your accomplishments and generosity.
    Cheers
    Elias

  5. Erin Akar, MD says:

    Happy 75th Birthday Judith Wible! The reunion photo reminds me of my Urology residency department photo taken in 2013. Don’t think women make up 50% of surgical subspecialties today. Women make up most of the lower paid and/or higher risk of law suit areas of medicine and this is true not just for medicine but any career. Women are expected to be “good little doctors”.

  6. Louise Rousseau says:

    Hi Dr. Wible – thank you for sharing. What an inspiring story – beautifully written – about an inspiring and beautiful (outside as well as inside) woman. Wow, we have it so easy in medical school today. I will try to keep that in mind when times get tough.

  7. Melanie says:

    This is a great story, thank-you for sharing this. Your success in life has been nurtured by the wonderful woman you wrote about: your Mom. She made it possible so that we could go to medical school and I applaud her for it!

  8. Happy Birthday! Congratulations!!! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story! I’ve had some parallel experiences :-)) How about Women in Yoga Therapy, does that count as Medicine in your book?

  9. Pamela Wible MD says:

    So I am TOTALLY confused because Facebook will not allow me to advertise this scholarship online because:

    Your ad wasn’t approved because it doesn’t follow Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines for language that is profane, vulgar, threatening or generates high negative feedback. Ads can’t use language that insults, harasses or demeans people, or addresses their age, gender, name, race, physical condition or sexual preference.

    Does anyone understand why this blog will not be allowed as a Facebook ad? I have appealed their decision and they still will not budge. So what line in here is so problematic? My mom is trying to support women who have a history of being sexually harassed, bullied, and mistreated in medical training. How is this offensive?

    In fact, this sexual harassment is still happening! –> Female surgeons feel obliged to give sexual favours, report finds: http://www.smh.com.au/national/bullying-endemic-among-surgeons-but-victims-too-scared-to-speak-up-report-finds-20150909-gjiuxl.html

  10. Nafeeza says:

    Happy birthday to a great lady who created another great female. All the work you do Pamela, has your mother’s footprints.

  11. Pamela Wible MD says:

    Mom just emailed me: Manicure – I have a problem with any word with “man” in it. Maybe this is the reason I declined your offer. ~ Judith Wible

  12. Carole says:

    Now I understand where you get your “awesome” from…
    Like mother like daughter!!!
    I am not easily impressed, but you Doctor ma’am impress me so very much.
    Please never change- your perfect just the way you are.
    How blessed your patients must be to have you!! Lucky people. 🙂

  13. Rachel says:

    Thank you for sharing your mom’s and your inspiring stories.

  14. Val Rogers says:

    Loved seeing the photos of Judith as a young woman. And I love that she absolutely IS a straight shooter! What a wonderful tribute you’ve shared. And the scholarship is very exciting! I will tell my niece about it, (3rd year med student) and encourage her to apply. May Judith’s, and your, indomitable spirit, carry on!

  15. Gary Levin says:

    I signed up for one of your retreats, but illness prevents me from travelling afar. Seems you were blessed by your Mom. I have always felt the ‘female’ side of me. I think we need leaders such as yourself, who use common sense. The age of data is seductive….and conclusions often change, like PSA testing, or mammograms. We need a female visionary, for the future of medicine. My view is that of a retired MD who fought the battle for 40 years. If we did not have physicians such as yourself, it would be worse. People do listen, but they are inert. You are in my RSS feed

  16. Marc Grossberg says:

    Trying to track down your mother for the BHS 1958 reunion. Please send me her email and mailing address.

  17. April (Eaton) Thomson says:

    Pamela, I knew your mom back in the early 80’s (I think you were still in HS!). What a remarkable woman and what a beautiful tribute to her pioneering work and indomitable spirit!

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