Women in Medicine History

Women in Medicine History

Amerindian civilizations, those of Africa, to Asia, then it was a melting pot of Eurasian populations of Mesopotamia, the testimonies are confirming the role of women as an active and exclusive carrier of relief, balance, health and prosperity for his family and for the communities of which was an integral part. The history of medicine shows us examples of Aztec women were allowed to practice as a healer, the only drawback was that they had to practice at a mature age, after menopause.

These ways of life, this common sense, these simple and rich traditions at the same time notions handed down for generations and delicate and profound relationship with nature, they encountered difficult times.

One of the worst consequences of which came to affect his life for many centuries to come, it was certainly that of the Inquisition. Historians still argue about how many were victims of that period, the figures vary, but all agree, however, that the vast majority of victims were women.
Women in Medicine History
They were swept away ancient traditions and cultures of care and well-being and furiously attacks were erased all the tracks on the psychological well-being and harmony with nature and the universe, which has been handed down in texts distinguished, as in the Gospels to the Essenes. This strategy of assured destruction to men only medical knowledge, as was decreed at that time, more or less official, that only doctors could practice medicine educated in the arts healers, and that medical schools were prohibited from women.

The exception is the school of Salerno, an illustrious Medical Academy was founded around the year 1000, where he found traces of a "midwife", Trotula, "matron sapiens", perhaps clever midwife, from the family of Roger of Salerno, of Lombard origin.

In Catania in 1370 was duly licensed to practice in all the kingdom of Sicily, another rare exception, Dr. Vidimura, wife of a famous physician of the time, it seems that medicine at that time was the prerogative of the privileged wives and daughters of doctors.

Since then, we said, the women became slaves and passive subjects of all medical activities, as evidenced by the numerous treatises on diseases and women's issues.

Emblematic of this closure is in Europe the great surgeon von Bergmann in Berlin in 1882, while not declaring all misogynist, did not accept female students to his courses, stating that the provisions of the statute contemplated only university "the education of young men."

Just over a century ago, timidly, women reappeared in the academies of medicine. At the University of Florence, for example, seems to be the first woman graduated in 1877, but it was an isolated case, having started his university studies in Zurich.

At first boycotted, ridiculed, reduced to long years of quiet subservience to their male counterparts, then, with effort and patience, women have obtained a role. The challenges were primarily cultural in nature, often intrinsic to the family, that is to come from the new one. While the former sought to hinder in any way will play the roles of the daughter of a profession considered exclusively male, the newly formed family brought with them the heavy burden of family organization with all the consequences that derive from them on the professional and his career.

Female doctors between 1800 and 1900
Women were accepted without discrimination in universities and in the medical profession only in the late 1800's and early 1900.

In the new world the figure of the woman doctor is "his space" to the first half of the 800, such that proliferate around the country, private medical schools.

Soon comes a movement for health reform with the aim of promoting "good shape" through public information campaigns.

During the period of the "lady doctor" no shortage of famous names, beginning with Elizabeth Balckwell accepted by Geneva Medical College in upstate New York, graduated in 1849 as the first woman doctor, after only two years of study. In 1854, Emily's sister became a doctor, traveled to Europe and attended various hospitals to gain more experience. That same year, Ann Preston became professor of physiology and hygiene, graduating at the Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia, the first medical school for women founded in October 1850 by a group of enlightened physicians of the city. Of German origin but Marie E. Zakrzewka (later better known as Dr. Zak). He attended the same college that has graduated from Emily Balckwell and, despite some hostility, he graduated with honors in 1856.

But the figure most prestigious among the "female doctors" is that of Mary Putnam Jacobi. In 1863 he graduated in Pharmacy in New York and soon after he completed his doctorate in medicine at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, pursuing the belief that to become good doctors is essential to have a good scientific background, but also a great compassion for suffering people. Become spokesman of the female doctor in charge of the Working Women's Society and the Association for the Advancement of the Medical Education for Women.

The desire of these pioneers of medicine is to pay particular attention to the health problems of women and children. In 1900 American women doctors are hundreds and represent 5% of all physicians.

Dorothy Reed, pathologist, first describes the typical cells of Hodgkin's disease, Eliza Morher, professor of hygiene, becomes an expert in public health, while Ruth bacteriologist Tunnicliffe will be bright and Florence Sabin will be distinguished in research on the anatomy of the nervous system.

Historians identify Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia the first woman graduate in medicine in the world: the University of Padua in 1678 would have achieved the coveted goal. In the early years of the next century, to Bologna, Dorotea Bocchi and Anna Morandi Manzolini dedicated to the study of anatomy, the first succeeded his father, the second husband. Another famous teacher, able to attract not only many lessons to his students, but cardinals, nobles and dignitaries, is Laura Bassi, wife of Dr. Verratti.

Among the figures that have been imposed in the world of science and the medical profession over the past two centuries, we like to remember Maria from the Women, the first Professor of Midwifery in the Royal University of Bologna, who graduated in philosophy and medicine in 1799, and then directing in 1804, the school of midwifery.

Maria Montessori, born in Ancona in 1870, is the first woman to graduate in Medicine and Pedagogy (but also in natural sciences and philosophy). It is imposed with his method of education, appreciated all over the world, specializing in childhood mental handicap. Author of "Method of classification of defectives, the starting point for their pedagogical treatment", in 1904 she was appointed assistant at the University of Rome, and two years later he was able to experience his method of "self-education," defined as the maximum freedom for children, especially in pre-primary stage.

More recently, with regard to scientific research, a significant example of Turin is the Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986 and discoverer of NGF, the nerve growth factor.

Other names just mentioned deserve no less important, but the medical profession, women in our country is more consistency from the first decades of this century. Culturally they were difficult years if, as reported by the Lombard Medical Journal in 1932, a Dr. Berti openly challenged the woman's "ability" to practice medicine, then encouraged by Professor Pende asserted that in 1939 the journal "Education physio-psychic "factors that the perversion of feminine nature would be three: first, the willingness of economic emancipation, second, the desire for emancipation, marriage and family, third, the spiritual emancipation, studies of men doing the same.

But slowly, the cultural evolution and flexibility in designing a progressive roles, has facilitated the acquisition of more space and prestige to women in the professions.

Numerical increase
Quantitatively, the beginning of this century there has been a rapid growth of the white coats for women.

The National Federation of Medical Associations in 1978 worked out a detailed census of medical. It turned out that female doctors were about 17,000 of a total of 143,000 medical professionals, then 11, 8% were distributed mainly in the regions (8,300 approx), 4,500 in Central, 2,500 in Southern, 1,700 in the islands.

The above analysis of census made another interesting comparison to put the cultural level of the student population from 1946 to 1977.

While the '46-'47 1'80% of students graduating elementary to middle school on the 18th% lower, 6% of high school and only 4% graduated in the '77-'78 data change significantly, and, thanks to improved economic and social conditions, increased 9% graduate students, high school graduates to 20%, and those less than 27% of middle school.

If the indices of schooling have increased over the years, have derived great benefit certainly the women, who have found more channels and more opportunity in which to express. To date, the growth trend is leavened. In the academic year '95-'96 it has been overtaken by women as regards the entries for the Bachelor of Medicine.

The female doctors, a survey done by the Permanent Commission for the problems of the woman doctor and dentist, established at the National Federation of the Orders in September 1994, some 100,000 of a total of 330,000 doctors (about 30%) and their distribution on the area follows the data from the first census of the doctors, drawn up in June 1978 by the Federation itself.

The numerical growth we're seeing, while it makes a strong female component of the class, the other extends and aggravates the phenomenon of the 'medical plethora "that impoverishes and degrades the entire profession. Consider that at the census date of 1 was estimated a ratio of 1 doctor-population of 394, and even then it constituted a surplus of about 49,000 doctors!

As silent image of woman-doctor
Currently, if we were to sketch the figure of the woman doctor, so we define: committed, competitive, prepared, permeable to the models of success and career, active in reconciling its many facets and social roles (wife, mother, grandmother), enthusiastic about his work .

But even for the frustrated career often hampered, torn between exciting but very tiring roles, disturbed by the limitations that imposes the male hegemony of power.

Women have occupied many branches of medicine for many years had been forbidden them, see the surgeries etc.., Address articulated specialties (cardiology, gynecology, psychiatry, etc..), Then there is an opening in the range of job prospects . But on the other hand, most, by choice or necessity, is dedicated to basic medicine, pediatrics or operates the hospital work with few career ambitions.

A document given by "Medical Federation," we read that her fellow female doctors met in conference in May 1921, at which it was founded Association of Medical Women which collected the 200 women graduates at that time, determined that the operating range of women should be that the treatment and prevention of child and woman.

Here I quote: "... the women doctors, women maintaining their poetic soul, establish their right, to the doctors the woman and child, prevention, protection and care ...".

Whose motto is still "soul Matris GP", the first form of women's organizations in the medical field, it was proposed, echoing the experiences of overseas associations, to enhance the work of women, promote inclusion, improve health care services. To date the association, after 75 years of growing business, is fighting for the image and the rights of woman doctor in the early 900 While she mainly chose pediatrics as a specialty and hygiene and worked in "... promote consultation and obstetric clinics with the teachings of special precepts of hygiene, maternal nurseries for expectant mothers and illegitimate poor, improve sections of the hospital midwives, promote moral protection, health and hygiene of maternity and infancy, etc. ... ", today is expressed in Research in the operating room, ward, in the comfort of home, in solidarity.

What is still lacking, which is recorded between the college and lives mainly in a hospital and university in a highly visible, is the lack of equal opportunities for advancement.

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