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Dr. Christie Ann Huddleston

Year of Birth / Death

b. 1952

Medical School

Medical College of Pennsylvania



Career Path

Education: Teaching
Dr. Christie Ann Huddleston


Dr. Christie Huddleston was a founding member of the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine.


I grew up in a family where service to others and to our country was very important. The desire to add to the common good and my love of science and the human body made medicine a wonderfully exciting choice.


Christie Huddleston, M.D., is a psychiatrist and historian who has combined her scientific career with the study of the history of women in medicine. She is co-founder and chair of the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine.

In 1974, when Christie Huddleston—a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a B.A. in anthropology from Temple University—asked her family physician to write her a letter of recommendation as part of her application to medical school, he refused. He argued that she would never complete her degree but would instead simply abandon her education to become a wife and mother. She refused to back down, however, and won a place at Philadelphia's Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP) that same year.

After graduating in 1978, she completed her psychiatric residency at MCP from 1979 to 1982. Dr Huddleston then worked as a school consultant in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, from 1987 to 1988, as clinical associate professor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1990 to 1994, and at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, where she was associate director of the Young Adult Unit from 1989 to 1992. From 1992 to 1993 she served as associate director of the Brief Intensive Care Unit. She spent the next four years as clinical assistant professor at Drexel College of Medicine.

Since, 1993 Dr. Huddleston has been a supervisor of psychiatric residents in the Department of Psychiatry at MCP Hahnemann, where she lectures on adolescence, substance abuse, and dissociation. In her private practice, she specializes in helping adolescents and young adults, and devotes much of her time to mentoring and developing opportunities for women in medicine. She is also the co-founder and chair of the Foundation for The History of Women in Medicine, an organization committed to promoting the accomplishments of women in the medical sciences and preserving their history.

Dr. Huddleston was named a fellow of the Philadelphia College of Physicians in 1991 and of the American Psychiatric Association in 1994. She received an award for Excellence in Preception from the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital in 1992 and a service award from the Alumni Association of MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine in 1998, and in 1999, became a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, a national honor medical society. As a member of AOA, she helps carry out its mission, "to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the medical profession."

Question and Answer

What was my biggest obstacle?

I think my biggest obstacle was a lack of expectation on the part of others that women could achieve academically and professionally and would enjoy doing so. This originally limited my own vision for myself. Once I was past this obstacle I found many open doors.

How do I make a difference?

I think I make a difference on two levels. First is in my daily practice of medicine. I see patients all day long and together we work to heal their wounds, resolve the obstacles in their lives, and to improve their sense of well-being. Second is through teaching and mentoring of medical students and residents. With students and residents I try to impart a way of thinking which allows for the complexity of the problems they will face with their own patients, but also show them a way to strive for clarity without losing their own humanness and that of their patients.

Who was my mentor?

There have been many people who have reached out to me over the years and helped me advance. Many were people who probably never thought of themselves as my mentor, such as the nurse in my family's doctor's office who told me. "Honey, do whatever you want" when my family doctor refused to write me a letter of recommendation [to medical school] because [he believed] women just quit medical school to have babies. At MCP I found many mentors, such as Drs. June Klinghoffer, Barbara Schindler, and Lila Kroser, who formed a network of faculty to mentor women in medicine. Drs. Sid Wenger and Anita Schmukler and my peer study group acted as a sounding board as I honed my skills.

How has my career evolved over time?

Originally I though I would be a gynecologist or a surgeon because I was fascinated with the body and loved to be in the O.R., but during medical school I was introduced to the brain and mind. I found my fascination turning to the understanding of how they worked and interacted. I also enjoyed working with people who came for treatment with problems they experienced with either their mind or brain or both. My clinical work has focused on this for twenty years. I am currently in psychoanalytic training, which furthers my interest in the mind, inner conflicts, and symptom formation. Within my practice I have focused on the treatment and understanding of adolescents and young adults. Besides my clinical interests I have devoted time to mentoring and developing opportunities for women in medicine. Recently this interest has led me along with other like-minded individuals to form a foundation to promote the accomplishments of women in the medical sciences and to preserve their history.