The story of women in medicine is multi- fold, from their ascendency as healers and midwives in the early years of American Colonialism to their gradual decline as they were eclipsed by men, whose entrance into the medical ranks brought new standards of exclusionary professionalism. All-male medical schools, state medical boards, and licensing pushed "healing" women into the subcategory of midwife or nurse.
Nineteenth-century women retaliated by forming their own colleges, studying independently, and eventually forcing themselves into competition with accepted medical institutions. But these women doctors had a twin burden of prejudice to overcome: first, society's Victorian grudge against any woman who wished to snap the bonds of domesticity and become a professional; and, also, the basic distrust of a rural population for medicine. Women had to win the confidence of female patients before launching into feminist encouragement, advocating fresh air, exercise, and uncorseted clothing. The discreet balance of power between physician and patient hung in delicate balance, either tipped toward female competition or stirred into a level of feminine support.
Understanding the stories of these medical pioneerstheir motivations, hardships, and conflictsassigns a human face to otherwise dry statistics. The early-American female doctor comes vividly to life through her own writings, which have been incorporated into this book. Along with Cathy Luchetti's expert and engaging narrative, and a collection of more than 50 stunning photographs, Medicine Women offers thekey to the heart of the rural, frontier doctor.
|Publisher:||Crown Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||1 ED|
|Product dimensions:||7.70(w) x 9.56(h) x 0.97(d)|
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