Dr. Doris Bartuska built her own career on her firm commitment to ensure that women would have the chance to pursue their professional goals with equity and opportunity. As a medical school professor, as well as president of the American Women's Medical Association, she promoted the recruitment of women to leadership roles in academic medicine.
Following her 1949 graduation from Bucknell University with a bachelor's degree in biology, Doris Bartuska earned her M.D. degree in 1954 from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. After completing her internship and medical residency, Dr. Bartuska received two fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, one in endocrinology at Jefferson Medical College from 1957 to 1958, the other in molecular medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1966 to 1968.
While pursuing research and writing on the physiology of aging and thyroid disease in the elderly, Dr. Bartuska held successive appointments at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, as associate professor of medicine and pathology, director of the division of endocrinology and metabolism, associate dean of curriculum, and professor of medicine. Despite the hectic schedule, she has found this work very rewarding. As she noted in 1988, "All faculty members have substantial administrative and committee responsibilities, as well as such extra duties as editing medical journals, serving on peer review panels, continuing their education, and obtaining research funding. Teaching is a stimulating and exciting aspect of academic medicine. One must love it." Dr. Bartuska's own love of teaching was recognized in 1974 when she received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching award.
In addition to her 1989 term as president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, Dr. Bartuska served as the Pennsylvania Medical Society delegate to the American Medical Association from 1979 to 2000. In 1987 Dr. Bartuska served as president of the American Medical Women's Association, using her position to raise the profile of the growing numbers of excellent women physicians and to promote the recruitment of more women into leadership roles in academic medicine.
Dr. Bartuska's devotion and advocacy for women in the medical and scientific professions bore fruit in her own family. Her youngest daughter is a family practitioner in Maryland. Two other children have pursued scientific careers one as a geologist and the other, having earned a Ph.D., has served as president of the Ecological Society of America. Even after her official retirement, Dr. Bartuska remained active in state medical societies and medical writing, and mentored younger doctors by working with them in editing manuscripts and reviews.