Duvivier Lectureship Offers Forum for Women's Health Issues
In May, the second annual Roger Duvivier, M.D., Lecture was held at Einstein in Robbins Auditorium. Nearly 100 members of the Einstein community gathered to hear this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Ruth Freeman, present “Estrogen: The Dilemma for Women and Their Doctors, Here and the World Over.” An alumna from the class of 1960, as well as professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health and of medicine at Einstein, Dr. Freeman was among Dr. Duvivier’s mentors when he was a member of Einstein’s class of 1974.
Drs. Sharmila Makhija, Roger Duvivier, Ruth Freeman and Irene BlancoThe annual lectureship, which honors Dr. Duvivier’s many contributions—particularly his humanitarian efforts supporting women’s health in the Bronx, Haiti and Guatemala—was established last year by Dr. Yvette Calderon and the Office of Diversity Enhancement in conjunction with the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health.
Noting that the concept of diversity changes with time, Dr. Freeman recalled her own Einstein medical school class, which had just 4 women out of 86 students. By contrast, the class of 2016 had more than 50 percent female graduates, with 101 women out of 196 M.D. graduates.
Dr. Freeman, who also is an attending physician at Montefiore and an advocate of global women’s healthcare and education, discussed the complex role that the hormone estrogen plays in various health issues throughout a women’s life. She highlighted how viewpoints of a women’s reproductive health development—from the start of a girl’s monthly menstrual period through the post-menopausal years—shape cultural practices and treatment of girls and women in various parts of the world.
Dr. Duvivier chats with his mentor and colleague, Dr. Ruth Freeman, who was the evening’s keynote speakerReflecting on the import of the lectureship series in his name, Dr. Duvivier said, “I hope that these talks can serve as an annual reminder of what Albert Einstein and the College of Medicine stand for in terms of diversity, inclusion and global healthcare. I’m especially delighted to have Ruth Freeman, a mentor of mine, as our speaker. She embodies global women’s healthcare and can inspire all Einstein learners to realize the value of embracing diversity.”
Since his retirement last year after more than 40 years at Einstein, Dr. Duvivier resides in Guatemala, his wife’s homeland and the location of WINGS, a non-governmental organization to which he contributes his time and expertise. Established 15 years ago, WINGS helps to advance the welfare of rural Guatemalan youth, women and men by providing quality reproductive health education and contraceptive services.
Posted on: Monday, June 27, 2016