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Who was the first female doctor?

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Planet Claire
701649.  Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:58 pm Reply with quote

Anyone know who is officially recognised as the first female doctor?

I always thought it was James Miranda Barry, but Elizabeth Garrett Anderson seems to be always referred to as the first. Is it because "James Barry" spent her life disguised as a man?

 
bobwilson
701667.  Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:57 pm Reply with quote

There were quite a few women herbalists knocking around in the 17th century - although they were often mistaken for witches.

 
Ion Zone
701678.  Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:19 pm Reply with quote

Unrelated, but the first female war photographer to get pictures from the front line was Gerta Pohorylle, better known as Gerda Taro - partner, in more ways than one, to André Friedmann, better known as Robert Capa, founder member of Magnum.

 
suze
701680.  Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:19 pm Reply with quote

It's impossible to say definitively that James Barry was Britain's first woman doctor - is it not possible that there were earlier woman doctors who passed themselves off as men and whose deception was never discovered?

The matter of the first "openly female" doctor is easier to address. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was in fact the second woman to be registered as a doctor with the General Medical Council, in 1865. The first was Elizabeth Blackwell, who had qualified as a doctor in the USA and was subsequently registered with the GMC in 1859.

 
bobwilson
701682.  Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:22 pm Reply with quote

It's impossible to say who was the first doctor (woman or otherwise) - it's possible to say who was the first registered with the GMC; or to say which was the first registration body for doctors. Which is what I was getting at in my earlier post.

 
suze
701686.  Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:35 pm Reply with quote

True enough. So the question which I answered would be more precisely stated thus:

"Who was the first openly female person to be registered in the United Kingdom in the way which is now required before one may legally describe oneself as a medical doctor?"

And I claim that the answer to that question is Elizabeth Blackwell.

 
bobwilson
701687.  Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:38 pm Reply with quote

And an alternative question which could be answered would be:

"Who was the first female person to be registered in the United Kingdom in the way which is now required before one may legally describe oneself as a medical doctor?"

which might produce a different answer.

 
Norman Castle
702274.  Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:25 pm Reply with quote

The first female Doctor was Joanna Lumley.


Klaxon sounds, I lose 10 points.

 
MinervaMoon
702276.  Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:07 pm Reply with quote

The first female to attend and graduate from Harvard Medical School was Fe del Mundo, a Filipino student who was accepted to the all-male university because the admissions board didn't realize she was a woman until she arrived.

 

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