Women and children first: Rosenberg has been dedicated to both throughout her life
Lucille B. Rosenberg, MD
Oct. 18, 2012 College News - “You don’t retire from something. You retire to something,” says Lucille B. Rosenberg, MD, whose post-practice activities illustrate the same depth of dedication to community that she demonstrated during her career.
A child psychiatrist who through the years served many of the most vulnerable populations in southern Wisconsin, Dr. Rosenberg has maintained an ambitious schedule, working with youth-oriented agencies in Milwaukee. She is deeply involved with the Children’s Outing Association as well as the Mental Health Association of Milwaukee County and Arts @ Large. She tutors central city adolescents studying for their GED. She marvels at kids’ potential that “not only is not being tapped; it’s not being touched.”
Dr. Rosenberg demonstrates a penchant and talent for unlocking potential, which is one of the reasons her input has been so valuable to the Medical College of Wisconsin in its development of Women in Science. As one of those interests to which Dr. Rosenberg retired, this annual lecture series and support organization benefits from her lifetime of experience as an advocate for women in health care.
Bringing women together
Since 2007, Women in Science has organized luncheon presentations featuring women faculty members from the Medical College of Wisconsin who discuss their work and their career paths. Membership is open to the public, and each lecture is an opportunity for community members to meet outstanding female scientists and physicians and learn about their leading-edge research and its impact on health. Women in Science also provides financial support for women scholars at the Medical College to advance their research.
“My philosophy is that we need to mentor and support women,” she said. “I think Women in Science has done that and draws attention to women’s many roles. Women have a unique perspective in medicine.”
A member of the Women in Science Advisory Committee since its inception, Dr. Rosenberg has sought to emphasize several components of the group to optimize its potential to benefit women and the Medical College. She places a high priority on increasing the involvement of community members, particularly practicing physicians. Showcasing the incredible contributions women are making to research and medicine is essential as well.
Women in Science can also model the importance of mentoring women medical students so they reach their aspirations. Dr. Rosenberg has funded, outright and through a challenge grant, memberships for a number of female Medical College students to attend Women in Science lectures. History informs Dr. Rosenberg’s opinion that these are important efforts, and her career journey includes plenty of moments dedicated to making a difference.
A voice for women
Dr. Rosenberg entered medical school at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1946. With World War II coming to an end and most medical students in prior years drawn from the armed forces, that year saw an unusually high number of women enter medical schools nationwide. Because of this critical mass of women, Dr. Rosenberg and her peers were able to reconstitute a chapter of Alpha Epsilon Iota, the national women’s medical sorority. It was one of her first women’s advocacy efforts, but not her last.
Having a larger number of women classmates offered a support system in a male-dominated environment. She was among 13 women who graduated with their MDs from UW in 1950, the highest ratio for many years before or after.
Dr. Rosenberg was already a mother when she finished her pediatrics residency and eventually had five children, so she knows well the juggling of responsibilities required by professional women. She became the first woman President of the Milwaukee County Medical Society, and then advocated at the state level for a session just for women physicians, which drew more than 200 members to its first meeting.
The effort led to the creation of Women in Medicine, a collaborative organization for women physicians in Milwaukee and Madison that hosted seminars on subjects that resonated with women professionals, like work-life balance, and helped raise awareness of women’s accomplishments in medicine. The organization served as a template for the Medical College’s Women in Science program.
“We started Women in Medicine to help communication among women in practice and with women medical students so they felt like they had mentors,” she said.
A career helping children
Dr. Rosenberg is a former member of the pediatrics and psychiatry faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin as well as an alumna, having completed her fellowship in child psychiatry in 1969. She practiced at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in a psychiatric outpatient setting and also served as Medical Director at Curative Care Network, working primarily with children with multiple disabilities. Her work enabled her to collaborate with the public school system and consult on special education services.
In the 1980s, Dr. Rosenberg joined Sinai Samaritan as Medical Director of the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic. She retired in 1997. Throughout her career, she found the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary setting to be among the most gratifying aspects. It’s a theme that also applies to her volunteer efforts with Women in Science.
“We can always learn something from one other,” she said. “I’ve certainly learned much from my colleagues.”
If you would like more information about Women in Science, please contact Linda Hruska, 955-5863 or firstname.lastname@example.org.