It is a fascinating fact that a woman, Matilde Montoya, became the first female in south america to get a medical degree. In her time, it was considered to be the highest level of academic achievement for women. However, many people have questioned this claim. Here are some of the reasons why.
One of the most important women in the history of medicine was Dorothea Erxleben. She was a medical pioneer and the first woman to earn a medical degree in South America. Her achievements made her a role model to many.
When Erxleben was a young girl, she was taught science and medicine by her father, a Lutheran clergyman. He believed that both his children should receive an education. In addition to her studies, he instructed his daughter in Latin. After her father’s death, she took over his practice. Throughout her years of practice, she argued against the prejudices against women.
During her early years, Dorothea studied and wrote about a variety of issues. She advocated for the entry of girls into schools. And she spoke against the many sex-based restrictions that prevented women from studying.
Despite her accomplishments, Erxleben had a difficult time completing her studies. A medical school professor assumed that she would be rejected, and so she took the course at a slower pace. As a result, she did not take the final exams. Instead, she compiled her thoughts into notes that later became known as A Thorough Inquiry into the Causes Preventing the Female Sex from Studying.
It was a common belief that women could not study science. This was despite the fact that they played an important role in nursing in families and communities. Until the early 19th century, men dominated the medical profession in South America.
It was only after Erxleben passed her exams that she was able to complete her studies and obtain a degree. The German rector of the University of Halle/Saale, Johann Junker, was supportive of her. His views were that women should be able to pursue higher education, and that a medical degree should be given to both men and women.
The history of women in medicine is filled with challenges. But the life of Elizabeth Blackwell is an example of progress. She was one of the first American women to receive a medical degree, and her career helped set up a successful path for future women.
She studied at two prestigious medical schools in Paris and London. She also had a long stint in South America.
When she returned to the United States in 1853, she opened a small one-room clinic. Her sister Emily and other Quaker friends assisted her. They also began to lobby for the admission of women to medical school. Eventually, they founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.
Elizabeth Blackwell went on to become the first woman doctor in the U.S. As a member of the National Health Society, she promoted healthy living. She wrote many pamphlets on the benefits of hygiene and suffrage. She was also involved in family planning and sanitation.
After the Civil War, she continued to promote health and reform in the medical profession. She became an advocate for sexual purity and family planning. And she campaigned for the abolition of white slavery. She was also involved in the abolition of prostitution and the liberalisation of Victorian prudence.
During her lifetime, she had a series of affairs with men. Some doctors were reluctant to work with her because of her gender. Others admired her courage. However, she was widely criticized for her actions.
Blackwell remained active in her profession and eventually returned to England in the 1870s. At the age of 89, she died in Hastings, England. Although she was a role model for women in medicine, gender inequality in the field is still an issue today.
Matilde Montoya was a Mexican obstetrician and midwife. She was the daughter of Jose Maria Montoya and Soledad Lafragua, and was born in Mexico on March 14, 1857. Her father was a conservative militar, and her mother was from Puebla. Upon her graduation, Matilde became the first female physician in the South American region.
Although Matilde Montoya had a successful career in medicine, she had some adversities to overcome. After her father died, her mother committed herself to raising her. In addition, she faced a financially precarious situation.
When she was 18, Matilde graduated from a medical school in Puebla. She was certified to practice obstetrics and surgery. However, she did not continue to work in the field. Instead, she adopted four children. She also took classes at a private school for women.
In 1925, Matilde Montoya and Aurora Uribe founded the Association of Female Physicians. The purpose of this association was to help women get the training and knowledge they needed to become physicians.
During her career, Matilde Montoya was known as a physician who cared for all types of patients. Some people questioned her practices, believing that she was perverse. Others praised her efforts. Despite these controversies, her work was seen as a milestone in the advancement of women.
Throughout her career, Matilde Montoya participated in various women’s associations. She was a member of the Second Pan-American Women’s Conference.
Matilde Montoya was also involved in the Mexican Medical Association. While at the conference, she met President Porfirio Diaz. Afterwards, she wrote a letter to him, congratulating him on her success. He personally attended her graduation ceremony.
As a medical woman, Matilde Montoya received a lot of attention and praise from the press. Nevertheless, her opponents attacked her as a dangerous woman.
Jane Elizabeth Waterston
Jane Elizabeth Waterston became the first female doctor in southern Africa. Her biography was published by the Journal of Medical Biography.
After graduating from the Inverness Royal Academy, Jane Waterston moved to Cape Town and worked as a physician. She contacted the Foreign Missions Committee of the Free Church of Scotland when she was 23 years old. During the early part of her career, Waterston worked in Ireland and England. Then, she began working as a missionary in South Africa.
Jane Elizabeth Waterston was a woman of unusual intelligence. As a result, she wanted to create a comfortable environment for her family at home, and did not want to create a school atmosphere.
Waterston went on to become the superintendent of the new girl’s section at Lovedale Missionary Institute in South Africa. She then returned to England to receive her medical license.
In 1929, Waterston was awarded a degree in laws by the University of Cape Town. Later, she became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. Throughout her life, Waterston provided medical care to the poor in South Africa. Eventually, she died in Cape Town in 1932.
Women have made contributions to the field of medicine since the beginning of mankind. However, women’s accomplishments were more far-reaching when they graduated from medical schools.
Waterston’s correspondence was edited and published in 1983. Those letters continued until 1905.
She had many contacts with James Stewart, who was one of the founders of the Lovedale Missionary Institute. He was a doctor, a linguist, and a medical missionary. Besides being a pioneer in the medical mission, he was the moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland.
One of the first African American women to receive a medical degree was Rebecca Lee Crumpler. She earned her MD from the New England Female Medical College in 1864. The book she published, “A Book of Medical Discourses”, is one of the earliest of its kind.
In addition to her career in medicine, Crumpler also served in community organizations, and she was an advocate for children. After the Civil War ended, she moved to Virginia to practice medicine. But she suffered from a harsh racism in the South after the war, and she returned to Boston.
There were other pioneering African American women physicians, too. For example, Esther Hill Hawks, who lived in Charleston, Florida, was a suffragist and advocate for women’s rights. She and her husband served in the Union Army and taught at the National Freedmen’s Relief Association.
Another physician, Mary Edwards Walker, was a pioneering woman who was initially approved by the Union Army as a nurse. However, when Confederate soldiers caught her treating Southerners, she was sent to prison. Eventually, she received approval to work as a surgeon in Ohio.
Other Black women in the medical field were Dorothy Lavinia Brown, MD, who was the first Black woman to be a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Also, Grace Marilynn James, MD was the first Black woman to work at a children’s hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.
These are just some of the many Black and Hispanic female doctors who have helped to shape the world of medicine. Their contributions are well worth celebrating. Although there have been great strides made in medicine for women, there is still a long way to go.
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