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THE ENTRY OF WOMEN INTO MEDICINE

medical university woman war

The first formal European school of medicine was at Salerno in southern Italy; women both studied and taught there. The most famous among them was Trotula (d.1097?), whose Passionibus mulierum curandorum (1547, The Diseases of Women) became a standard medical textbook until the 16th-c. She classified diseases as inherited, contagious and ‘other’. Formal education in medicine, especially for women, became increasingly difficult in Europe. In France women had studied and taught medicine at Montpellier, but by 1239 Montpellier had followed the example of the University of Paris, and excluded women. Many universities founded in the 12th-and 13th-c also debarred women; licences to practise medicine were restricted; Pope Sixtus IV (reigned 1471–84) forbade the practice of medicine by those who were not university graduates. However some women midwives, physicians and surgeons did practise in France, Germany, Italy and Britain. Many studied with a relative and followed their profession. In 1390 Dorotea Bocchi succeeded her father as professor of medicine and moral philosophy at the University of Bologna. In England, the dissolution of the monasteries deprived the poor of nursing care and women of an avenue of medical training; while wars, witch-hunts and constitutional crises prevented progress in the medical education of women.

In the liberal University of Bologna, Anna Morandi Manzolini (1716–74) the wife of the professor of anatomy, became his assistant in the construction of anatomical models. During his illness she lectured in his place, with the consent of the university, and on his death was elected, without a degree, as professor and modellatrice to the chair of anatomy in 1750. Her work became internationally famous. Maria della Donne (1776–1842) obtained her degree in medicine in 1799; Napoleon appointed her professor of obstetrics in 1802. In 1804 she became director of the School for Midwives and a member of the French Academy in 1807.

In France from the 16th-c, obstetrics began to develop as a science. At the forefront was Louyse Bourgeois (1553–1638) a friend and pupil of Ambroise Paré ( c .1510–90); her husband was an assistant to Paré. She was midwife to Queen Marie de Medici through seven deliveries and wrote a major treatise on obstetrics in 1609, the most comprehensive since that by Trotula. It was based on personal observations of 2000 cases; 12 presentations and the rules for the delivery of each type were described. She also gave instruction on cleanliness and on avoiding cross-infections. Marie Louise Lachapelle (1769–1821), succeeded her mother as head midwife at the Hôtel Dieu in Paris; her Pratique des accouchements (1821–25, Practice of Obstetrics) contained statistical tables compiled from 50 000 case-studies. Marie Anne Victorine Boivin ( née Gillain) (1773–1847), who was educated by nuns at a hospital in Etampes, was Lachapelle’s student and assistant and her successor. Her work on diseases of the uterus, published in 1833, was used as a textbook for many years. She was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Marbourg, and the Order of Merit by the King of Prussia.

The first woman to be awarded a medical degree in Germany was , in 1754. Taught by her physician father alongside her brother, she petitioned Frederick II of Prussia for permission to enter the University of Halle. Her success prompted what was to become the familiar expressions of outrage, shock and horror at the idea of women practising medicine. It was 1901 before another woman graduated from the University of Halle’s School of Medicine. Charlotte von Siebold Heidenreich (1788–1859) was awarded a degree in obstetrics at the University of Giessen in 1817 and later became professor there; in 1819 she delivered the future Queen Victoria. German universities did not admit women as medical undergraduates until 1908, although they admitted women with ‘foreign’ diplomas for further study in 1869. In Switzerland the first woman graduated in 1868; Sweden gave women permission to practise medicine in 1870 and its first woman graduated in 1888; the University of Copenhagen’s faculty of medicine accepted women in 1877, and its first woman graduated in 1885; Norway, by Act of Parliament, opened its doors to women in 1884 and its first female graduated in 1893. In the Netherlands Aletta Jacobs graduated in 1878. In 1889 the first women graduated in Spain and Portugal.

At least one woman did not wait for the barriers to lift. James Miranda Steuart Barry (1795–1865) was the name used by a woman who, disguised as a man, graduated from Edinburgh University in 1812. She continued the deception as a male army surgeon until her death, attaining the rank of Inspector-General of Army Hospitals. Her identity remains something of a mystery. That she had influential help in her deception is evident in the intervention of the Earl of Buchan on her behalf when the University Senate proposed withholding her degree on the grounds of her apparent youth, and later on her entry into Army service, when the physical examination was waived. During her service at the Cape of Good Hope Barry performed a successful caesarean operation. She was appointed Inspector-General of Hospitals for Upper and Lower Canada in 1857, and so was the first woman to practise medicine in Canada, albeit as a man.

The first woman to graduate in medicine in America in 1849, as the result of an error by Geneva College, a recognized medical school. The application from a woman to study medicine was thought to be a joke perpetrated by another college and was accepted in like spirit; however when she appeared, the college honoured the contract. Her attempts to practise medicine in the USA were blocked: no dispensary or hospital would allow her to see patients and she turned to Europe for further training in London and Paris. She opened a dispensary for destitute women and children, the New York Infirmary for Women and Children in 1853 and the Women’s Medical College (1868–99). In 1858 the British Medical Council was formed, and because she held a medical degree and had practised medicine in England before this date, Blackwell’s name appeared on the British Medical Register in 1859. In 1869 she returned to practise medicine in Britain. Nancy Clark (1825–1901) received a medical degree from Cleveland Medical College, the Medical Department of Western Reserve College, in 1852, although when she applied to the Massachusetts Medical Society they refused to license her on the grounds that she was a woman. It was 1876 before the first woman was admitted to the American Medical Association. Across the USA the medical schools began to open their doors to women by the end of the 19th-c. By 1894 about 10% of students at 18 medical schools were women. The first Canadian woman to gain a medical degree from a Canadian school was Augusta Stowe-Gullen, who graduated via the Toronto School of Medicine in 1883.

In England acquired her qualification to practise medicine by finding that the wording of the charter of the Society of Apothecaries did not specifically exclude women. She was awarded a diploma from the Society in 1865, which enabled her to get her name added to the British Medical Register, and so to practise medicine. She became the first woman to gain a medical degree at the University of Paris in 1870, after the university opened its medical school to women in 1868.

By the time and others wished to enter the medical profession the Society of Apothecaries had closed the opening for women and holders of foreign degrees were by then excluded from the British Medical Register. Jex-Blake’s battles to enter the Edinburgh University medical course were reported in the newspapers and her treatment gradually changed public opinion. In 1874, with a group of sympathetic people, including Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, she formed the London School of Medicine for Women (LSMW). It took an Act of Parliament in 1876 to enable medical bodies legally to admit women. No examining body or hospital would accept the women students and the school faced closure in 1877. Then clinical teaching was arranged with the Royal Free Hospital; the King’s and Queen’s College, Dublin, recognized the teaching course at LSMW and was the examining body. Sophia Jex-Blake and four women co-students gained degrees from the King and Queen’s College of Physicians of Dublin in 1877. The University of Edinburgh accepted women as medical students in 1894.

LSMW might not have formed without Jex-Blake’s energetic, albeit tempestuous nature, and might not have survived without Garrett Anderson’s professionalism and soothing diplomacy among male supporters. Garrett Anderson worked for the students of LSMW to be accepted into the University of London and in 1878 all faculties were opened to women. The first women to qualify in medicine were Mary Scharlieb and Edith Shove in 1883; the LSMW became a college of the University of London. Due to Britain’s political position in the world, the LSMW had an influential role in the medical education of the women of India, Burma, South Africa and East and West Africa. From the Far East woman at first trained at LSMW or at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in the USA; they are now accepted in all medical faculties in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson also worked against the General Medical Council’s proposal for a separate Medical Register for women and she proposed uniform standards in medicine, surgery and obstetrics for all candidates. The first female Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Ireland, England and Edinburgh was admitted in 1910; the Royal College of Physicians of London amended its regulations in 1926 and elected its first female Fellow in 1934.

In New Zealand there were six medical students by 1896 and in Australia the first women graduated in medicine in the 1890s. In India there was a great need for qualified women doctors to treat segregated women. Mary Scharlieb, from Madras, one of the first to graduate from the LSMW, so impressed Queen Victoria with the needs of her Indian subjects that a fund was set up to provide many small hospitals and clinics, all staffed by women. In 1894 the North India School of Medicine for Christian Women was founded and trained hundreds of nurses, midwives, dispensers and doctors. The first Indian girls entered LSMW in 1894 and returned to serve in civil hospitals and the Indian Women’s Medical Service. Women are now admitted to all medical faculties in India and Pakistan, with separate schools where custom demands.

The First World War gave women the opportunity to prove their value; 20% of British women doctors volunteered and served in the medical services, also women from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They were not, however, accepted by the War Office to work at the front. Louisa Garrett Anderson (daughter of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson) equipped a hospital staffed by women; this was not taken seriously by the establishment but was accepted by the French Red Cross. Dr Elsie Inglis (1864–1917) founded the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, staffed entirely by women, including surgeons, and offered its services to the War Office. When this was turned down (with the reply, ‘Go sit quietly at home, dear lady’), Dr Inglis took the first Scottish Women’s Hospital Unit to Serbia, and her colleagues also served with great efficiency in France, Corsica, Salonika, Romania, Russia and Malta. By 1916 the War Office began to recruit women doctors for service a broad. By the end of the war there were 85 women doctors serving in Malta, 36 in Egypt, 21 in France and 39 in Salonika; however, unlike the men, they were not given commissions. The war made it easier for women to be accepted by the medical hospitals and increased their experience of surgery, epidemic diseases, war wounds and the effects of war gases. Dr Inglis’s colleagues received some of the highest decorations from France and Serbia, while she was merely given a magnificent funeral in Edinburgh and a hospital was named after her. The conduct and courage of medical women in the First World War was one of the most important contributions to the granting of women’s suffrage in the UK.

After the war, the now increasing number of women qualifying in medicine (78 in 1917, 602 in 1921) were finding, like that getting a medical post was almost impossible, because returning ex-servicemen were given priority. Williams eventually joined the Colonial Service and went to the Gold Coast. After 7 years in Africa she was moved to Malaya, was trapped by the Japanese invasion of Singapore and was imprisoned in Changi jail, where she survived its form of interrogation.

In the Second World War the Royal Army Medical Corps women had uniforms, equivalent ranks and equal pay. The British women civilian doctors had testing medical duties in many theatres of war; some served with the Resistance in the occupied territories. These women demonstrated the worth of their claim to be treated with equality. The present position is that women are strongly represented among medical students and graduates, less strongly in junior posts, and hardly at all at senior levels in the medical profession in the UK.

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over 6 years ago

LSMW might not have formed without Jex-Blake’s energetic, albeit tempestuous nature, and might not have survived without Garrett Anderson’s professionalism and soothing diplomacy among male supporters. Garrett Anderson worked for the students of LSMW to be accepted into the University of London and in 1878 all faculties were opened to women. The first women to qualify in medicine were Mary Scharlieb and Edith Shove in 1883; the LSMW became a college of the University of London. Due to Britain’s political position in the world, the LSMW had an influential role in the medical education of the women of India, Burma, South Africa and East and West Africa. From the Far East woman at first trained at LSMW or at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in the USA; they are now accepted in all medical faculties in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Read more: THE ENTRY OF WOMEN INTO MEDICINE - Medical, University, Woman, and War - JRank Articles http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/7316/THE-ENTRY-OF-WOMEN-INTO-MEDICINE.html#ixzz23Hba412H

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over 7 years ago

Dear Sir,



My daughter is an Indian National wishes to take admission in MBBS , please advise the details of the following ;



1. Admission application Requiremnt

2. Admission Fe Structure

3. Hostel Fee structure

4. Other miscl facilities and requrirement till completion of MBBS & MD.



Awaiting to your good response.



Best Regards,

MHussain