Tag Archives: women in medicine

Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte: tradition, assimilation, and healing

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Fig 1. Susan La Flesche Picotte. 1889. Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center Archives & Special Collections. Published with permission. “My office hours are any and all hours of the day and night.” — Susan LaFlesche Picotte1   It was August of 1889 and Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte […]

Dr. Joycelyn Elders: an unwelcome prophet

Howard Fischer  Uppsala, Sweden   Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General. From the National Institutes of Health. Via Wikimedia. Public Domain. “No prophet is welcome in his hometown.” — The Gospel of Saint Luke, 4:24. New American Standard Bible   Joycelyn Elders, MD (b. 1933) was Surgeon General of the United States of America from […]

Women surgeons

Moustapha Abousamra Ventura, California, United States   Cactus flower with buds. Image courtesy of the author. Last spring, I spent three months in the Texas Hill Country. It is a place that at once can be beautiful and hostile. The fields of blue bonnets in full bloom are breathtaking. The cacti that abound around barbed wire […]

Book review: The Doctors Blackwell

Elizabeth Coon Eelco Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   The Doctors Blackwell. Janice P. Nimura. Edith Lutzker celebrated the centennial anniversary of the struggle of five British heroines in her 1969 groundbreaking book Woman Gain A Place in Medicine. Much less has been written on women physicians in Europe and Asia, but the Italian universities […]

Mary Josephine Hannan: portrait of a pioneer

Katie King Atlanta, Georgia, United States   Mary Hannan. Photograph by Cowell, Simla. Via the Wellcome Collection. Public Domain. Mary Josephine Hannan was an Irish medical pioneer, an outspoken woman with a strong sense of morality, a fervid supporter of women’s rights, and a champion of children and public health. She spent her life fighting […]

The life of a trailblazer: Ogino Ginko, one of the first female doctors in Japan

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Photo of Ogino Ginko. From the National Diet Library. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Ogino Ginko was Japan’s first female doctor of Western medicine. She lived a life full of struggles, achieved a flash of fame, and then quietly retreated into history. She advocated for the rights, safety, and […]

Salernitan women

Vicent Rodilla Alicia López-Castellano Valencia, Spain   Figure 1. A miniature from Avicenna’s Canon representing the Salernitan Medical School. Source The first medical school in the Western world is thought to be the Schola Medica Salernitana (Figure 1), which traces its origins to the dispensary of an early medieval monastery.1 The medical school at Salerno […]

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and smallpox

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. A painting of Mary Wortley Montagu by Jonathan Richardson the Younger. Via Wikimedia. There are few examples of people with no medical training who independently make significant advances in medical practice. One such person was the elegant, aristocratic Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762)—daughter of Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke […]

Women in the medical profession: the trial of Jacoba Felicie de Almania

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   A meeting of doctors at the university of Paris. From the “Chants royaux” manuscript, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. BNF, Français 1537, fol. 27v. Source In November 1322 a group of folk healers and empirics were put on trial by the Faculty of Medicine from the University of Paris. Their […]

Mary Niles and the Canton rats

Edward McSweegan Kinston, Rhode Island, United States   Doctor Mary West Niles, Wikipedia  Bubonic plague arrived in Honolulu in December 1899. A month later it had spread to San Francisco, where the infection caused a series of deadly outbreaks until 1907.1 But for decades before plague reached the American west coast, it had burned through […]