Women have always been healers; they have helped each other through the birthing process, nursed the sick and wounded, and sought cures for illnesses and injuries. This book summarizes the lives of 240 significant or representative women who have engaged in the core professions of mid-wifery, nursing, and medicine.
From about 1850, women physicians won gradual acceptance from male colleagues and the general public, primarily as caregivers to women and children. By 1920, they represented approximately 5 percent of the profession.
Proceeding from the colonial period--when women participated in healing as nurses, midwives, and practitioners of folk medicine--to their struggle in the 19th-century to enter medical schools, the book charts the emergence in our own time of women as full-fledged medical professionals.
This is a profile of an anesthesiologist who was a medical pioneer, graduating from medical school at a time when few women attended college, and developing the Apgar score, a measure of a newborn's physical condition at birth.
Women and Medicine provides a comprehensive and definitive history, from early riots in medical schools when women tried to enroll, to women finally overcoming obstacles, making medical breakthroughs and enjoying brilliant medical careers.
In their efforts to utilize their medical skills and training in the service of their country, women physicians fought not one but two male-dominated professional hierarchies: the medical and the military establishments. In the process, they also contended with powerful social pressures and constraints.