Complete Story


CASA Celebrates Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and it provides an opportunity to celebrate the vital role of women in American history. Some of those women made significant contributions to the advancement of medicine, including Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the first female surgeon in the United States, and Dr. Joycelyn Elders who was appointed as the first African American surgeon general in 1993.

Still, healthcare leadership continues to be a male-dominated field – according to a study by JAMA Network Open, women held only approximately 15% of the CEO positions in health care organizations in 2021. There are many benefits to having women in leadership roles, and CASA would like to celebrate key women leaders who have helped contribute to and advance healthcare in both the past and present.

CASA Member Profile: Dr. Ali Strocker

Ali Stocker

Medical Director, Governing Board Member, Medical Executive Committee Chair, Partner, Specialty Surgical Center of Encino


Are there any women leaders in American history or healthcare that have inspired you?

I was fortunate in medical school and training to work under a few talented female attending surgeons, who lead by example of excellence in their profession and balancing it with family life.  Seeing other women who were successful allowed me to believe it was possible for me as well.

What does it mean to you that you were able to become a physician and provide care to patients? What helped make your career pathway possible?

I always loved caring for others, as well as science.  When I was 9 years old, my grandfather, to whom I was very close, passed away from pancreatic cancer and I decided to become a physician. My mother was always very supportive and repeatedly told me “to reach for the stars, they are within your grasp.”  When there were challenges along my path to becoming a physician, her words of encouragement helped me believe in myself and persevere. As a pediatric ear, nose, and throat surgeon, I am very fulfilled by being able to improve the lives of young children, to help them hear better, have fewer infections, or improve their sleep.

What are some challenges that you have faced in your career?

As a woman, male teachers and professors would often question my abilities at the start of a class. I recall my calculus teacher in 12th grade walking around the classroom and stopping at my desk to ask if I thought I could get an ‘A’ in his class.  My response was, “No, I know I will get an ‘A’ in your class.” I thankfully have a very strong spirit and strong support and did not allow their doubts to prevent me from my achievements.

Currently, the challenge I face is balancing my fulfilling career with being an involved mother to my 2 wonderful young children.  It is difficult to be away from them for many hours a day, but I hope that they will grow up knowing how much I love them and be inspired to follow their dreams as well.


Printer-Friendly Version