female medical student

Talking to a heart surgeon

So today I got the chance to talk to a heart surgeon. I already know her from lectures and I have somehow always looked up to her. #girlcrush

How many hours are you working as a heart surgeon per week?
“80 - 100 hours”

Is a good dexterity a must-have for becoming a heart surgeon?
“At the beginning you will struggle because those with lots of talent are doing great from the start. But you will improve and at the end you won’t see any huge difference between the hard working one or the gifted one.” (What gives me personally some hope, since another heart surgeon told me the same)

How does your chief think about you starting your own family?
“Heart surgery is run by males. Females are still a rarity. I say he (her chief) is  scared of me being pregnant. It is possible - but only having like one child will stretch you to your limits.”

Would you do heart surgery again?
“When I started 10 years ago, everyone I’ve asked said that heart surgery is the best and everything is just awesome. But I wished they would have told me the truth: how time consuming it can be, and how difficult it’ll be to find the right time to start a family. But I still love my profession.”

What would you recommend any med student who wants to pursue a career as a heart surgeon?
“Do a clerkship/rotation at a heart surgery department. Get a little overview about this profession.”

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917), qualified as a physician in 1865

Art by A.O.M. (tumblr)

In 1859, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson met Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female physician in the United States.  Already involved in the fight for women’s rights, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was inspired by this meeting to train as a physician.

Unable to find a British physician to mentor her, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson enrolled as a nursing student at Middlesex Hospital.  Although she was denied entrance to the medical school, she was initially allowed to attend classes there.  However, in 1861 the male medical students at Middlesex Hospital presented a petition to the administration against her admission.  Elizabeth left Middlesex Hospital with a certificate in chemistry and the foundation of a medical school education, but she was denied admission to other British medical schools.

After further private study, Elizabeth passed the Society of Apothecaries exam and qualified as a physician in 1865.  Soon after, the society changed its charter to exclude women.  After qualifying as a physician, Elizabeth opened her own practice in London. Hearing that the Sorbonne has begun admitting female medical students if they had already qualified overseas, Elizabeth traveled to Paris to enroll.  She graduated in 1871.  The admission of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Catherine Gontcharoff, and Mary Putnam as holders of foreign medical degree opened the door for Madeleine Brès, the first French female physician.

Elizabeth returned to London where she co-founded the London School of Medicine for Women.  There she appointed Elizabeth Blackwell as Professor of Gynecology.  In 1873, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was admitted to the British Medical Association. After her admission, the association voted against admitting any additional female members.  Elizabeth was the sole female member for the next nineteen years.  Meanwhile, physician-in-training Sophia Jex-Blake and MP Russell Gurney passed the Medical Act of 1876 which allowed women to practice as physicians.

In addition to her pioneering work as a physician, Elizabeth was also the first British woman elected to a school board (London, 1870) and the first female mayor and magistrate in Great Britain (Aldeburgh, 1908).  Along with her sister Millicent Fawcett and her daughter Louisa Garrett Anderson, Elizabeth was an active member of the women’s suffrage movement.  Following in her mother’s footsteps, Louisa was also a physician.  She served in the Women’s Hospital Corps in France during World War I.

premedwannabe  asked:

Hi, you're a female right? I have a question regarding female medical students and the doctors they become. Is there actually a stigma against still attempting to do your makeup and hair while attending medical school, and then while actually practicing medicine? i've heard different things, and it was a popular theme on Scrubs to slam the female doctor for trying to look attractive still, and I just have to ask if this is a real issue to people. Thanks for anything you can add (:

I do indeed have a uterus

So you’re talking about scenes like this, yes? 

No, there’s not really a stigma about dressing up. At least where I work, in the warm fuzzy environment of family medicine where we love everyone and everything is rainbows and unicorns, it is okay for ladies to dress nicely. Except I wore a new scarf last week on casual Friday (with jeans though) and 2 different people asked me why I was all dressed up, so that was weird.

But honestly, 

Girl, get yo hair did. Get yo nails did. Wear those uncomfortable high heels (but don’t look to residents like me who only wear flats to pity you at the end of the day). Wear that adorable chevron monogrammed scarf that you love. Also enjoy waking up super early to do that stuff. 

Things may be a little different in more traditionally male-dominated specialties like surgery, but in primary care, we are ok with dressing nicely. Regardless of what you go into though, don’t worry about it. Dress in a way that is respectful to your patients and attendings, and don’t look like a total slob (I mean unless you’re on call or night float, then scrub PJs all day long!) and you’ll be fine. 

Matilde Montoya

Art by Marci (tumblr)

Matilde completed her basic education at the age of 12 and her mother encouraged her to become a midwife.  By the age of 18, Matilde was a trained midwife practicing in the city of Puebla, Mexico.  However, she struggled to grow her practice as the local newspapers attacked her professionalism and accused her of being a Protestant Freemason. 

Matilde wanted to continue her studies and become a doctor, but she faced opposition from sexist authorities.  Although there were opportunities for women to study medicine in the US, Matilde wished to remain in Mexico.  With the support of President Porfirio Díaz, she completed her high school education (very unusual for a Mexican girl at that time) and enrolled in medical school in 1880.  The existence of a female medical student was so unusual that the Mexican press regularly reported on Matilde’s progress, including her midtem exam results.  Her achievements in medical school strengthen support to create further educational opportunities for girls.  Matilde graduated medical school in 1887 as a surgeon and obstetrician.   Porfirio Díaz and his wife Carmen appeared at her graduation to officially congratulate her. 

Although Matilde is considered the first Mexican female physician, there are mentions of an earlier female student named Zenaida Ucounkoff in 1877.

Cecilia Grierson (1859-1934), qualified as a physician in 1889

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Cecilia Grierson began her career as a teacher, entering medical school in her late 20s.  She graduated in 1889 as Argentina’s first female physician.  Her interests and accomplishments spanned numerous fields.  She initially focused on women’s health, writing her thesis on ovary extraction, and she founded the National Obstetrics Association in 1901.  Cecilia was also interested in kinesiology.  She created a massage therapy course for medical students at the University of Buenos Aires and wrote a textbook on the subject.  After she attended an the Third International Conference of the Red Cross, Cecilia founded the Argentine First Aid Society in 1892.  She also published a book on the care of accident victims.  She was a founding member of the Argentine Medical Association.

A proponent of women’s education, Cecilia mentored female medical and pharmacy students at the University of Buenos Aires.  She founded Argentina’s first nursing school at Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires in 1890.  Two years later, Cecilia established the Society for Domestic Economy which later became the Technical School for Home Management.  She developed Argentina’s first Home Economics course for high school girls and published a book on women’s technical education.  In the nursing school and the home economics programs, Cecilia encouraged the development of best practice standards for child care.

Cecilia gave free consultations to children with special needs and she was particularly interested in the well-being of blind and deaf children.  She authored a textbook on the education of the blind.

Cecilia was a leader in the women’s rights movement.  She founded the Argentine Women’s Council in 1900 and petitioned the government to provide better social welfare programs for working class women.  She also co-founded the Association of Argentine University Women which campaigned against women’s inferior legal status.

Cecilia retired from academia in 1916, but continued to work as a family physician and teacher.  She died in 1934 at the age of 74.

Jessie MacLaren MacGregor (1863-1906) was one of the first women to be awarded a medical degree from the University of Edinburgh, after the institution had overturned its ban on female students. Along with fellow graduate Elsie Inglis, she revolutionized health care for the women living in the Scottish capital.

In 1899, just after graduation, she became a Junior Physician at the Edinburgh Hospital for Women and Children. Two years later she set up The Hospice, a maternity ward for working class women. She also played an important part in establishing halls of residence for the female medical students in Edinburgh.

Rosina Heikel (1842-1929), qualified as a physician in 1878

Art by Britta (tumblr)

When Rosina Heikel decided to become a physician in 1862, there was no clear path for her to follow.  Although doors had opened for female medical students in the US, European universities remained closed to prospective female physicians.  Without an obvious route to medical school, Rosina studied physiotherapy in Stockholm and completed a midwifery course in Helsinki.  While she was studying, European medical schools began to open their doors to female students.  In 1871, Tsar Alexander II granted Rosina permission to study medicine at the University of Helsinki.  She graduated in 1878, becoming the first female physician in Finland and the first female physician in the Nordic countries.  Rosina was granted a restricted medical license which only allowed to treat women and children.  Although she was never granted an unrestricted medical license, Rosina practiced medicine for 28 years.