Medical School

Dr. Mary Horowitz

Student, teacher, global leader

When Dr. Mary Horowitz decided she wanted to go to medical school, MCW was first choice for the New York City native.

“MCW is where I wanted to go to medical school. I did my residency here, my fellowship, got my master’s degree, I built my career here, my family, my life is here.”

mary-horowitzOn paper and in person, Dr. Horowitz is the walking embodiment of the woman who has it all.  She married in college, and eight weeks before she began her medical education at MCW, gave birth to the first of their three children. It didn’t impact her career plans, just enriched them. She went on to complete medical school in 1980, did her residency at MCW, served as chief resident, completed a fellowship, joined the faculty, and even earned her masters’ degree along the way. She is now the chief of hematology and oncology at MCW and the chief scientific director of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.

“It is a lot different now than it was then. The work hasn’t changed, but a lot of things have changed for women,” muses Dr. Horowitz. “I remember coming in to see a critically ill patient one night. In the room was the medicine resident, the surgical resident and the anesthesiology resident – all were women.  I made a comment to that effect and their response made me realize that they that they were totally unaware of how unusual that would have been just a short time ago.  And that made me feel really good. Not that I felt being a women ever held me back – it is just nice to have more of us around.

Dr. Horowitz speaks the way she teaches: Matter-of-fact. Direct. Humble, but with an air of authority. That authority, in tandem with her educational background and constant desire to learn, led to a rare honor. Dr. Horowitz’s name is attached to the largest federal research grant ever awarded to MCW-- $45 million entrusted to her by the United States to advance the science of blood and marrow transplants.  In 2014, she received the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

And when she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer, Dr. Horowitz turned that personal challenge into a learning experience.

“Dealing with cancer myself helped me understand its emotional side in a different way. It was a valuable lesson that has helped me better provide care for the people entrusting us with their lives.  I try to pass that lesson on to those that I teach.”

Teacher. Caregiver. Researcher.

“I love what I do, absolutely love what I do.”

Read more stories