Telling Her Story: Exploring the Role of Women in US Medical Professional Regulation Through FSMB Publications

Sheila De La Cruz, Carol Clothier, Terry Stratton, Lois Margaret Nora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Examination of photographs in 100 years of communication from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) illuminates the evolving role of women in professional medical regulation, a little-studied aspect of the history of women in medicine. Over the past century, the FSMB has communicated with professional stakeholders and the public through a variety of publications. Our review of photographic evidence from these sources reveals that women played important supportive roles as staff members and spouses from the beginning of the century. In the mid- to late 1980s, women moved into key governance and executive roles on a relatively consistent basis. Changing social norms, sponsorship from male leaders and early women leaders, and increasing visibility of women from other medical organizations were likely enablers of this change. Future work should explore the implications of women's involvement in the medical regulatory boards-a question with heightened relevance today, given increasing attention to the boards' oversight of medical practice, including reproductive healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-20
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Medical Regulation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Federation of State Medical Boards.


  • diversity
  • history
  • photography
  • regulation
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Health Policy
  • LPN and LVN


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