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November 20, 1972

Women in White

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1972;222(8):1064. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210080144042

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Women in White describes the role of women in medicine, from ancient mythology to the modern era. After discussing the ancient world, the medieval period (with such relatively unfamiliar figures as Trotula and Hildegard of Bingen), and the course of midwifery, the authors devote most of the volume to the 19th and early 20th century. Interestingly and effectively told is the story of the great pioneers—Elizabeth Blackwell, Elizabeth Garett Anderson, Mary Putnam Jacobi, Emily Dunning Barringer, Alice Hamilton, as well as many lesser figures—who struggled against overwhelming prejudice and male chauvinism, and did so much to liberate women.

The last part of the book tells of women who, although not physicians, had a great impact on medicine— Florence Nightingale, Dorothea Dix, Jane Addams, Marie Curie.

While directed primarily at the layman, the well-told narrative with its attractive illustrations can be heartily recommended to physicians who want to know more of