Women's Health Institute and
Chief of the OB/GYN Service at
Robert Wood Johnson University
New Brunswick, New Jersey
When Gloria Bachmann was a 14-year old "Candy Striper" volunteering at a local hospital in New Jersey, she would beg her father to take her to the hospital as much as possible-and always on Saturdays. "I wanted to be at the hospital," she recalled. "I loved being there and was very fortunate. I always had an interest and ability in biology and other sciences and knew I wanted to be involved in medicine and use science to help people.
"My mother was a big influence, too. Her favorite poem was 'If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking I Shall Not Live in Vain' by Emily Dickenson, a poem that I still believe in."
Today a national authority on women's health, especially in the areas of mid-life and menopausal health and sexual function, Bachman has combined careers as a physician, clinical researcher and educator in a serendipitous melding of her interests in science and people.
"I've devoted my professional career to the idea of being a physician as well as a clinician and researcher. Doing clinical trials are so important-you're always learning and looking for new applications for the things you discover that will help your patients."
Nominated as a Local Legend of Medicine by Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-6), Bachmann is Director of the Women's Health Institute and Chief of the OB/GYN Service at Robert Wood Johnson University. She also is Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (UMDNJ-RWJMS), Associate Dean for Women's Health, and Director of the Women's Health Institute.
She began her medical career with a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "I became interested in sexual health because it was a neglected topic in medicine in the 1970s when I was starting out," Bachman says. "I felt that I could contribute to women and their partners and help them towards a better life."
In 1995, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Middlesex County (NJ) Commission On The Status of Women. And, in 2001-2002, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology honored her with their President's Community Service Award.
In 2000, she was recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Women's Health & Counseling Center for her efforts in advancing health care. Since then, she has received many other awards including the Women Helping Women Award of Excellence in 2004.
She is the author of more than 200 articles and chapters in the medical literature, and currently is a member of the editorial board of several medical journals, including Women's Health in Primary Care.
"Of all the programs I've been involved in and the awards I've received, maybe the most important are the high school programs that I do and the Delaware Valley Girl Scouts award. That I can try and be a role model and reach out and help and guide young women, and men, is my greatest achievement," says Bachmann.