Women's History Month Stories

Ivy Riano, MD

Chief Hematology and Oncology Fellow, Dartmouth Cancer Center
Incoming Thoracic Oncologist and Assistant Professor at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine

Why did you pursue a career in science? 

Choosing a career in science provided me with intellectual challenges, problem-solving opportunities, and the potential to make a positive contribution in the care of patients with cancer. Pursuing a career in oncology was a dream I embraced with extraordinary passion, since it involves caring for patients in exceptionally difficult medical situations, while offering captivating scientific advances that have revolutionized how cancer is understood and treated to a whole new level.

What are you most proud of in your career? 

I am one of the few Latina women in oncology and cancer research in the U.S. As of 2018, less than 5% of oncologists were Hispanic; of those, only a third are women. I am so proud to represent the hard work and professionalism of the Latina women in science!

Who is a woman/mentor you admire? 

Dr. Linda T. Vahdat, the Section Chief of Medical Oncology at Dartmouth Cancer Center. Dr. Vahdat is a role model for me in the way she navigates academic life while maintaining a strong commitment to her patients and scholarship. She has contributed to my success by inspiring me to reach new heights as a woman in science.

What advice do you have for women who are entering the field of science?  

Identify and trust your abilities as a scientist! You can go down many paths in science that could lead you to even better ones. I would also advise cultivating collaborations to learn novel techniques and state-of-the-art methods to advance the knowledge in your field. In addition, I encourage women to support other women, especially those from underrepresented groups like me! 

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