May 11, 2023

Celebrating three generations of female doctors in one family

A graduating medical student, her mother and her grandmother create a legacy of third-generation women physicians

Rachel Glick, M.D., Hannah Glick and Marilyn Heins, M.D.

Rachel Glick, M.D., Hannah Glick and Marilyn Heins, M.D.

For as long as graduating medical student Hannah Glick can remember, her grandmother has worn thick, red-framed glasses

“My grandma is one of the wisest and most inspiring people I know, and her glasses have always struck me as the embodiment of her essence,” said Hannah Glick. “She’s 92 years old and is truly a trailblazer in the field of medicine. Her glasses are eye-catching, unique and strong, just like she is.”

According to Glick, her grandmother, Marilyn Heins, M.D., went to Radcliffe College, which was a women’s liberal arts school that served as the ‘female only’ counterpart to the then, all-male Harvard University. Eventually, it became the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 1999. 

“After she received her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe, my grandma went on to pursue her medical degree at Columbia University, which was pretty remarkable given that very few women sought careers in medicine during that period of time,” said Hannah Glick. “She completed her residency training in pediatrics at New York Presbyterian Hospital before meeting my grandpa and moving to Michigan.”

In Michigan, Heins trailblazed even further, eventually becoming the director of pediatrics at Detroit Receiving Hospital and the associate dean for student affairs at Wayne State University School of Medicine. She later moved to Arizona, where she became a vice dean and professor of pediatrics at the University of Arizona.

“It was always clear to me that my grandma had a very profound love for education,” said Hannah Glick. “When she retired, she went on to take classes at the University of Arizona, further proving that she really is a lifelong learner.”

Glick’s mother, Rachel Glick, M.D., is also a retired physician who once served as the associate dean for student programs at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Once Hannah Glick receives her medical degree, this trio will be one of the families in the United States with three generations of women doctors that are living.

“My mom had an incredibly accomplished career as a psychiatrist and growing up, I’d hear a lot of stories from other people about how inspiring she is,” said Hannah Glick. “She worked in the emergency department, which obviously had its own challenges, but also instilled in me a desire to do my best, whether it was in school or sports.

I know there are probably a lot of people out there who might not want to hear about their mothers all the time from other people, but I really loved it. My mom is so beloved by her peers and community, it’s hard for me not to beam with pride when anyone mentions her name.”

Surprisingly, Glick says that she didn’t always want to become a physician, but eventually things changed.

“It was kind of funny growing up because ever since I was really little, I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she said. “In fact, my mom’s dad was a veterinarian, so I got to see some of the profession up close. But in middle school, I realized that dealing with sick and hurt animals on the regular was actually very sad, and I started to change course. I became 100% inspired to pursue medicine after hearing the stories my mom and grandma would tell about their profession.”