Rebecca J. Kurth, MD
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Kurth RJ. Restoring the Balance: Women Physicians and the Profession of Medicine, 1850–1995. Ann Intern Med. 2001;134:432. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-134-5-200103060-00025
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2001;134(5):432.
More ES. 340 pages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ Pr; 1999. $49.95. ISBN 067476661X. Order phone 800-448-2242.
Field of medicine: Medical history and women's health.
Format: Hardcover book.
Audience: Medical historians, deans and department chairpersons of medical schools, and women physicians.
Purpose: To explore the evolving roles of women physicians in U.S. medicine.
Content: This scholarly yet accessible work traces the struggle of women physicians to achieve a balance between personal and professional obligations, as well as to gain access to the educational opportunities and professional recognition accorded to their male colleagues. The book highlights the successful careers of several women physicians, such as Dr. Sarah Dolley (1829–1909) and Dr. Marion Craig Potter (1863–1943), two pioneer physicians in Rochester, New York. It also exposes the barriers encountered by these women, who were often excluded from hospital staffs, specialty training programs, and medical societies. The author traces a cadre of women physicians from the arena of local practice to regional and national prominence and the foundation of such organizations as the Medical Women's National Association (later renamed the American Medical Women's Association). The last two chapters of this eight-chapter book address the disparity between the growing number of women in medicine (from 7% of medical school graduates in 1965 to 40% in 1997) and the relative paucity of women in positions of power. The metaphor of balance is evoked not only to describe the day-to-day concerns of women physicians but to challenge the medical community to address the “micro-inequities” that still keep many women beneath a virtual “glass ceiling.”
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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