Archive for Women in medicine

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Mary Sherwood and the Struggle for Women's Medical Education

2 minutes reading time

The story of American women’s efforts to become physicians is well-known and has been often told: Elizabeth Blackwell’s graduation from the Geneva Medical College in 1849  -- the first woman to receive a medical degree; the founding of the first women’s medical college, the New England Female Medical College in 1848; the opening of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as a coeducational institution in 1893, and so on.

Dorothy H. Andersen: A Women's History Month Profile

3 minutes reading time

Even among the many significant medical women who worked at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in the mid-20th century, Dr. Dorothy H. Andersen stands out.  Her 1938 article “Cystic Fibrosis of the Pancreas and its Relation to Celiac Disease” in the American Journal of Diseases of Children was the first to correctly identify the disease. During her lifetime, Andersen became the country’s leading cystic fibrosis researcher and, along with her colleague Paul Sant’ di Agnese (P&S 1948), she later created the first tests to diagnose the disease.

Hattie Alexander, a Medical Woman Pioneer at CUMC

2 minutes reading time

March is Women's History Month, a good time to recall that though Elizabeth Blackwell - the first woman physician of modern times - obtained her medical degree in 1849, American medicine remained an overwhelmingly male preserve well into the 20th century.  While most U.S. medical schools were co-educational by the 1920s, social expectations and professional resistance retarded the entry of women into medicine and slowed their advancement once they began practicing.