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Books, Journals, New Media
June 7, 2000

HistoryConduct Unbecoming a Woman: Medicine in Turn-of-the-Century Brooklyn

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 2000;283(21):2849-2850. doi:10.1001/jama.283.21.2849

In the 1880s Dr Mary Dixon Jones was a well-trained gynecologic surgeon in Brooklyn who also ran her own hospital, the Woman's Hospital of Brooklyn. She had a mission: to rescue women (most of them poor) from chronic debilitating pelvic pain, particularly through ovariotomy and, less often, hysterectomy. These were radical procedures a century ago, undertaken only by therapeutically progressive physicians and brave, desperate patients. That such a physician was a woman, in an age when women physicians were rare and usually viewed as "clinging to the margins of medicine" was truly remarkable.

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