Celebrating Women Physicians Day 2023: A Q&A with Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes
Posted on February 3, 2023
Meet Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes, a highly skilled and
compassionate physician who has dedicated her career to providing health care
to those in need. As a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, geriatric
medicine, and hospice and palliative care, she has a deep understanding of the
physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families. As a
physician at Islands Hospice and the Hawaii Homeless Healthcare Hui
(H4), she is
a true example of the dedication and care that women doctors bring to the field
of hospice care and our community. For Women Physicians Day, we celebrate Dr.
Fernandes and the other women physicians who put their patients first. Read on
to learn more about Dr. Fernandes in this Q&A feature.
What led you to a career in health care and how did you choose your specialty/specialties?
My catholic upbringing instilled in me at a very young age a desire to serve the poor and needy. I have three specialties – internal medicine, geriatric medicine, hospice and palliative care. I enjoy working with the elderly, maybe because I missed having grandparents around.
What is the best part of your job and what do you enjoy about working with Islands Hospice?
Bringing comfort and
easing suffering at the end-of-life. Islands Hospice is committed to serving
the community, the team is very dedicated to providing excellent hospice care.
It is an honor and pleasure to work with Islands Hospice.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports that 37% of the active physician workforce in the U.S. is female. In Hawaii, approximately 33% of physicians are female. What can be done to increase this number?
Many women physicians give up the practice of medicine to care for their families. Motherhood is also a rewarding profession.
Do you have any advice for women interested in pursuing health care or for young female doctors just starting their careers?
The sky's the limit, keep on dreaming!