“Good quality health care should be possible everywhere, even in poor, remote areas.” Sumaira Yaftali
“I want to become a good doctor because the Afghan society is so damaged.War has brought many needs, especially for women. Our culture makes access to health care very difficult…Whomever I marry must agree to my profession and to the objective of helping our people. Good quality health care should be possible everywhere, even in poor, remote areas.”
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Changing the world is simply… “a matter of trying.” Susan Love
Susan Love (b. 1948), pioneering breast cancer surgeon and researcher, co-founder of the National Breast Cancer Coalition
“I went to medical school before ‘women’s lib’ when there were still quotas on how many women were admitted. When I trained in surgery there were very few women surgeons and so no role models. Finally being a lesbian, woman surgeon meant that I was never going to be accepted into the ‘old boys club.’ It meant that I had to be better and that I had to serve my patients so well that they would come to me for that reason and not because someone had referred them.”
Learn more about the life of Susan Love:
“…I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others.” Rebecca Lee Crumpler
“It may be well to state here that, having been reared by a kind aunt in Pennsylvania, whose usefulness with the sick was continually sought, I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others. Later in life I devoted my time, when best I could, to nursing as a business, serving under different doctors for a period of eight years (from 1852 to 1860); most of the time at my adopted home in Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. From these doctors I received letters commending me to the faculty of the New England Female Medical College, whence, four years afterward, I received the degree of doctress of medicine.”
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“A blank wall of social and professional antagonism.” Elizabeth Blackwell
Elizabeth Blackwell (b.1821 – d.1910), the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.
“I had not the slightest idea of the commotion created by my appearance as a medical student in the little town. Very slowly I perceived that a doctor’s wife at the table avoided any communication with me, and that as I walked backwards and forwards to college the ladies stopped to stare at me, as at a curious animal. I afterwards found that I had so shocked Geneva [New York] propriety that the theory was fully established either that I was a bad woman, whose designs would gradually become evident, or that, being insane, an outbreak of insanity would soon be apparent.”
In her own words: celebrating women in medicine
“If society will not admit of woman’s free development, then society must be remodeled.”
– Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States
And remodel society they did! Throughout March, HHSL will be honoring 2013 Women’s History Month by presenting remarkable women in medicine according to their own words. We hope you find this series of posts illuminating and that you take a minute or two to learn more about their legacy.
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