This survey of the history of women in medicine begins in the mid 19th century and moves forward to the late 20th Century.  The twelve historical studies are divided by the editors into three sections, largely chronological.  The first section focuses on the 19th century women best known for their breakthrough into the male bastion of regular medicine in America.  There is, in addition to the more traditional studies, a look at the role of a Chinese woman physician in Progressive Era Chicago.  Section two takes the reader into the early 20th century Womens' Health Movement, including a fresh look at the narrative forms of Our Bodies, Ourselves.  Section three examines the mid-late 20th century position of women in American medicine and an interesting discourse on the impact of Western women physicians on issues of childbearing in Asia during the early part of the same century.


As with most anthologies, there is a wide sweep of topics and styles of presentation.  For the student of the history of medicine, there are several essays that take a fresh approach to some of the better known histories of women in the American medical field.  Of special interest are the essays on practitioners, as studied in Chicago, who managed to work together as women sectarian and regular physicians in the face of continuing skepticism about womens' competence in the practice of medicine, and regarding the women who worked in Asia Minor and Greece to improve health care.  These essays add depth to the existing works that study the history of womens' advances in the medical field in the past 150 years.


Johns Hopkins Univ. Press

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Ellen S. More, Elizabeth Fee & Manon Parry

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