MAKERS Profile

Dr. Susan Love

Breast Cancer Pioneer

In this video

Susan Love on breaking surgery's glass ceiling and her revolutionary approach to breast cancer.
Educated in Puerto Rico, Mexico City, New York and Boston, Susan Love was already a pioneer when, in 1980, she became the first female General Surgeon on the staff of Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. She was determined not to become a breast surgeon. But, she would later remember, "I started to realize how women weren't getting information. If they came in with a lump or what they thought was a lump, the doctor would say, 'Don't worry your little head about that, dear.'”   Now more than thirty years on, Love has drastically altered the equations surrounding the disease. She founded the Faulkner Breast Center in Boston and the Revlon UCLA Breast Center in Los Angeles and remains a Clinical Professor of Surgery at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. And as president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, she oversees an active $4 million dollar research program centered on breast cancer cause and prevention. But her impact is perhaps greatest where it is widest: as a trusted guide to women worldwide. 1990’s Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book (“the bible for women with breast cancer” according to The New York Times) is now in its fifth edition and her Love/Avon Army of Women partners women and scientists in order to accelerate basic translational research. It all insures that Dr. Love’s fierce intellect and her famous bedside manner continue to save lives worldwide. 

More From Dr. Susan

Feminism’s Global Future
Love talks about the obligation to bring the feminist fight to the rest of the world.

Four-Fingered Revenge
Love describes the unforgettable way she dealt with a sexist patient early in her career.

Women Will Change Medicine
How might having more women in medicine change the field for the better?  And what are the risks?

Women at the Top
50% of med school grads are now women, yet there remains a dramatic lack of women in medicine's upper ranks.

Iconoclasts
Always an outsider, Love realized it's a role to cherish and a powerful role to play.

Big Ideas Don’t Get Funded
The medical research world is not set up to support big ideas or big-thinking young scientists.

Research on Real Women
Love explains her innovative breast cancer research initiative and its critical response to traditional cancer studies.

Fighting for Same-Sex Parents
The pivotal role Love and her wife played in changing same-sex adoption law.

Same-Sex Marriage
Love describes her and her wife's long march towards legal marriage and the final hurdle.

“I Came Out in The Boston Globe”
Dr. Susan Love on the freedom and advantages of being honest about who you are.

My Wife
Love talks about how she went from being frightened by her openly gay colleague to falling in love with her.

Realizing Being Gay is an Option
Love describes the moment she finally realized she was gay.