Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine

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Women doctors, while not overrunning the profession, can hardly be termed rare or unusual today. Yet in the middle decades of nineteenth-century America and Europe, they were just coming on stage. Olivia Campbell’s Women in White Coats chronicles the story of three ambitious, motivated women.

Elizabeth Blackwell, one of two physician sisters, became the first credentialled woman doctor in the United States. Her path was fraught with challenges as she traveled from the US to Europe to seek training, then open a dispensary and become a practitioner. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was an English dynamo, ready to confront whatever objections she met on her chosen path. The third, assertive and brash young Jex-Blake, unflinchingly contested lengthy legal opposition in Edinburgh.

As doctors, their status and sensitivity were a boon to women unwilling or embarrassed to detail their symptoms to male doctors. They were indeed pioneers.

While the book’s main thrust is medical, and acknowledges the sorry state of pre-modern treatment, the pages reveal the doctors’ dramatic, gossipy personal lives, humanizing their unswerving professional efforts. Campbell handles the saga clearly, readably, vividly. Readers assuming inevitably decorous Victorian behavior will be pleasantly startled.

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Author Olivia Campbell
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Park Row Books
Publish Date 02-Mar-2021
ISBN 9781101947913
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2021
Category History


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