The authors consider some of the issues involved in women's choice of a medical career. The woman medical student has few acceptable role models available to illustrate the variety of possible life and family patterns. In addition, she must cope with the anxiety of medical school and also define her identity as a woman in a "man's world." Women respond to these challenges in a variety of ways related to individual characterological and defensive styles. The authors recommend several approaches to facilitating the participation of more women in medicine.