Like any other profession, medicine has seen a recent surge in female dominance. Not so long ago, only men could perform these jobs. The prejudice against female doctors seems to be ebbing. Our lives depend greatly on the area of medicine. This involves saving lives that were about to perish and bringing them back to life.
This article will go into great detail about famous female doctors who have made important contributions to medicine. Let’s look at some of the most well-known medical professionals you should be familiar with. It is customary for Discover Walks to give you the relevant details.
Table of Contents of Female Doctors
1. Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler
Our list of the top and most well-known female doctors begins with Rebecca Le. Lee Crumpler became the nation’s first Black woman to get a medical degree. Crumpler’s aunt raised her in Pennsylvania. Crumpler was inspired to become a doctor after seeing her aunt treat the ailing people in her neighborhood.
Although some professors treated her poorly because of her colour, she graduated in 1864 and started a medical practice in Boston for underprivileged mothers and children. One of the earliest medical books written by an African American was her Book of Medical Discourses, which was released in 1883 and included medical advice for women and children. What a sweet woman she was!
2. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell
The first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States was Elizabeth Blackwell, who was born in the United Kingdom. Blackwell made the decision to pursue medicine when a friend revealed how embarrassing it was for her to visit male doctors. She was sadly turned down by numerous medical schools because of her gender.
Blackwell earned the top grade in her class in 1849 despite objections from teachers and classmates. She visited Europe and carried out a number of effective operations. She contracted a sickness during one procedure that led to her losing vision in one eye. Blackwell kept paving the way for women in medicine despite being unable to conduct surgery anymore. She created her own practice when she went back to New York. Later, she founded two clinics for underprivileged women and children as well as a women’s medical school.
3. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker
Mary Edwards Walker, a doctor who was already in practice, gave her services during the Civil War. She was sent by the Union Army to the Patent Office Hospital in Washington, D.C., where she worked to enhance the quality of medical care for service members. Walker also established the Women’s Relief Association to offer housing to the mothers, wives, and kids of soldiers.
Walker offered to allow these women and kids remain in her house when there was no other place to stay for them. Walker also provided medical care to residents in the nearby rural area. Confederate forces detained and imprisoned her at Castle Thunder, close to Richmond, Virginia, while she was on her way to examine a patient. Walker made such a fuss about the poor quality of the food that the troops began giving the convicts extra grains and veggies. Four months after her arrest, they released her.
4. Dr. Antonia Novello
Born in Puerto Rico, Antonia Novello relocated to the US to enrol at Johns Hopkins University for a master’s program in public health. In the early 1980s, she provided legislative leaders with advice on health matters such organ transplants and disorders linked to smoking. She was the first Hispanic to be appointed as US Surgeon General by President George W. Bush.
While serving as Surgeon General, Novella increased public awareness of the health risks associated with smoking. She also promoted greater minority health care and AIDS education. In 1993, she began working for UNICEF, where she focused on stopping alcohol misuse, smoking, and nutritional problems like iodine shortage.
5. Dr. Virginia Apgar
Virginia Apgar, a native of New Jersey who attended Columbia University and graduated fourth in her class, was the first woman to lead a department at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in 1938, according to an article by Jone Johnson Lewis on ThoughtCo from November 2017. Medical advancements by Apgar led to higher newborn death rates in the US. She came up with a system (the Apgar Newborn Scoring System) to measure a baby’s muscles, breathing, skin tone, and heart rate.
She also learned that certain anesthetics that were injected into pregnant women caused harm to the developing fetus. Because of Apgar’s study, doctors no longer prescribe these medications. After earning her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1959, Apgar focused the rest of her professional life on eliminating birth abnormalities.
6. Dr. Margaret Chung
She received her medical degree from the University of Southern California, making history as the nation’s first Chinese-born female physician. A fervent Christian who applied to be a medical missionary, Chung was denied, according to Annie Wilson’s March 2021 article for Columbia Medical Association. Chung decided she wanted to be a doctor and finished her residency in Chicago.
Later, she moved to Los Angeles, where she became well-known for being a celebrity surgeon. During World War II, Chung offered to serve as a surgeon. Instead, she was given a task by the government to locate pilots for a group called the “Flying Tigers.” These pilots developed into men like to her sons. She sent them Christmas presents and letters throughout the conflict to keep their spirits up.
7. Dr. Mary Putnam Jacobi
Since she was a young girl, Mary Putnam Jacobi has been fascinated by biology. She once contemplated dissecting a dead mouse she found in order to observe its heart. With the reluctance of her father, famed publisher George Putnam, Jacobi earned her MD at the Female (later Woman’s) Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1864. She was able to study because she was committed to receiving an education that was superior to what she could receive in the United States.
Jacobi put in a lot of effort on behalf of her female classmates. She advocated in favour of coeducation of medical students, pointing out that women’s medical schools at the time couldn’t offer the same clinical training as large hospitals. She established the Association for the Advancement of Women’s Medical Education in 1872 to rectify injustices.
8. Dr. Joycelyn Elders
Growing up in a large family in a destitute area of Arkansas, Joycelyn Elders frequently missed class to help her sharecropper parents in the fields. Years later, she was appointed as the second woman to fill the position of surgeon general of the United States and the first African American.
Elders did not see a doctor until she was 16 years old, and after that encounter, she decided she wanted to become one. After serving in the Army, she used the GI Bill to enrol in the University of Arkansas Medical School, where she was the sole woman to graduate in 1960. She later rose to prominence as the state’s first pediatric endocrinologist with board certification.