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History of Women Physicians - timeline

Medical Profession
Women in the Profession
Medical Education

Number of Women MDs in the U.S.

Pennsylvania Hospital, West Wing, ca.1897
1751
1765
Men enroll in "anatomical lectures" at the College of Philadelphia, later the University of Pennsylvania, now known as the first medical school in the Colonies and followed by Columbia in 1768 and Harvard in 1780.
prior to 1849
Without regulated degrees, women practice medicine, and work as nurses and midwives, but have no opportunities to formally train, and be recognized, as physicians.
0
1835
Women's rights movement, known as the Woman Movement, begins, eventually spurring development of women as physicians.
1847
Harriet Hunt is the first woman to apply to Harvard Medical school, and is rejected.
1849
Elizabeth Blackwell is the first woman to receive a United States medical degree, from Geneva Medical College (NY).
1
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1850
1852
1856
New England Female Medical College (until 1873).
1857
Blackwell founds the New York Infirmary.
1860
200
1863
New York Medical College and Hospital for Women opened.
1861-1865
Civil War. Women work as physicians but are not commissioned officers.
p2111
1861-1865
1864
Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes first African-American woman awarded medical degree, graduating from the New England Female Medical College.
1865
Woman's College of the New York Infirmary (until 1899).
1866
1869
Clara Swain
1870
1870
Woman's Hospital Medical College of Chicago founded (until 1902).
1873
American Public Health Association founded, reflecting contemporaneous belief in the "strong relationship between good health and a clean physical and social environment." [Morantz]
1876

AMA accepts Sarah Hackett Stevenson, M.D. as first female member.
1889
Susan La Flesche Picotte, MD graduates from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania as the first Native American woman to receive a medical degree.
1886
Woman's Medical College of Baltimore (until 1909)
1892
Anandabai Joshee, from India, was the first foreign student admitted to Woman's Medcial College of Pennsylvania.
1893
Woman's Medical Journal is published.
end of 19th C
Women make up between 4% and 5% of physicians in US, stable at this percentage until the 1960s
1897
Eliza Grier, an emancipated slave, becomes the first African-American woman to become a licensed physician in the state of Georgia
1910
1911
 
over 7,000
[AMA]
1914-1918
World War I: women work as contract surgeons but are not commissioned as medical officers.
1915
Medical Women's National Association founded by Bertha Van Hoosen, MD, later know as the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA).
1917
American Women's Hospitals founded (AWH/S), a voluntary overseas service providing women physicians an opportunity to aid the war effort.
1917
 
5,551 (3.78% of all U.S. physicians.)
1919
Medical Women's International Association founded, with Esther Pohl Lovejoy, MD as first president.
1919
Alice Hamilton, MD, an expert in occupational health, becomes the first woman on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School. Harvard had not yet begun accepting women to its medical school.
1929
Women represent 4.5% of students graduating from US medical schools.
1943
Margaret Craighill, MD, Dean of Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, is the first woman commissioned as an officer in the US Army.
1952
Virginia Apgar, MD, the first woman full professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, develops the Apgar Score, the first standardized test used to evaluate newborns.
1969
Louise C.Gloeckner, MD, is elected AMA vice president, becoming the highest ranking woman physician in the organization to-date.
1970
 
25,284
(9.2% of employed physicians)

 

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