Women in Medicine: Lauren Noto-Bell, DO | PCOM
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Lauren Noto-Bell, DO '06 
Women in Medicine

September 22, 2020

During September, which is the American Medical Association's Women in Medicine month, PCOM recognizes our female physicians who serve as faculty members and role models for our students across all three of our campuses in Philadelphia, Suwanee and Moultrie. Each campus has selected a representative "Woman in Medicine" to feature in a web story, however we honor and celebrate all of our female physicians and student doctors and their commitment to advancing equity and creating change.

Professional headshot photograph of Lauren Noto-Bell, DO '06After graduating from the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lauren Noto-Bell, DO ‘06, went on to complete a family medicine residency at Christiana Care Health System and a neuromusculoskeletal fellowship at PCOM. From there, she joined the faculty at PCOM as an associate professor in the osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) department. Additionally, Dr. Noto-Bell is the program director for the osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine residency program.

Here, Dr. Noto-Bell shares her experience as a woman in medicine.

Who/what encouraged you to pursue a career in medicine?

I credit an MD for introducing me specifically to osteopathic medicine during my undergraduate career. In discussions about my medical interests and future desires, he said they aligned well with the philosophy of osteopathic medicine and that I should consider reading up on it. This was some of the best advice I have ever received and I will be forever-grateful for his opening my eyes to osteopathic medicine.

What does advancing equity for women in medicine look like to you?

Women shoulder enormous burdens every day, often with incredible grace and aplomb. Even with these challenges, many women still strive for lofty career goals. To me, advancing equity for women in medicine must include not stifling a woman's desire to be a wife/partner/mother/caregiver while also being a successful medical provider/advocate/teacher/leader. A few avenues to support this effort must include gender equity with regard to salary, appropriate maternity leave or caregiver leave, and the option for a flexible schedule when possible. These things should be granted regardless of gender.

How can you support your female colleagues?

I think it's important to recognize the ideas and accomplishments of other women. A huge frustration of mine is when a woman makes a statement that gets glossed over or outright ignored, and then a few minutes later a male makes the same statement that gets applauded. It happens pretty often! If I hear a great idea by a female colleague or student, I will make a timely effort to highlight it. It's a small gesture, but a quick way to make sure credit goes where it's due.

Dr. Noto Bell poses in front of PCOM DO students conducting physical exams in an OMM lab.
PCOM faculty member Lauren Noto Bell, DO, helps a student perform a manipulation during an OMM lab session.

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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

For the past 125 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and school psychology. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

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