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Three 19th-century women doctors : Elizabeth…
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Three 19th-century women doctors : Elizabeth Blackwell, Mary Walker and…

by Mary LeClair

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Three pioneer Central New York women doctors written by three authors, combined in this book because they were geographically connected as well as connected in time. Elizabeth Blackwell is the first woman with a medical degree, graduating a few months after the Seneca Falls women's rights convention which was held just a few miles down the road. This is the best of the three chapters, giving information that may not be known by the reader, which is always important, as well as the tried and true incidnts. It is fleshed out by quotes from Blackwell's writings.

The second of the three is about Mary Walker, the only woman to win the Congressional Medal of Honor for her work as a physician during the Civil War. Much is made of Walker's issues with feminine fashions and the bloomer costume, incorrectly attributed to Amelia Jenks Bloomer (who only publicized the outfit in her newspaper; she did not create the costume as the author states).

The third article is about Sarah Loguen Fraser, an African American physician from Syracuse New York where a street is named for her. This article was the least fleshed out and poorest written. There is very little information from anything she wrote or from contemporaries. It is merely a chronological recitation of her activities, which is not interesting. Because she is the least known of the three I was hoping for much more, and is the reason I purchased this book.

Although there have been other books about Blackwell and Walker, we need a serious, scholarly book on Fraser. ( )
  book58lover | Sep 7, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 097005193X, Paperback)

Today, close to half of all medical graduates in the United States are women. Such was not the case in the 19th century, when only a handful of women braved the barriers against their gender and pursued a medical education. In this book are biographies of some of the most notable pioneers of medicine: Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman MD; Mary Walker, Civil War surgeon and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient; and Sarah Loguen Fraser, one of the nation's first African American women doctors and the first woman doctor in the Dominican Republic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:28 -0400)

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