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February 22, 1995

As Long as Life: The Memoirs of a Frontier Woman Doctor

Author Affiliations

Tucson, Ariz

JAMA. 1995;273(8):678. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520320088055

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Things were different in New York City in Mary Rowland's day. When Dr Rowland "talked a bit smart" to a policeman warning her off the horse trail in Central Park, he said he had to scold someone occasionally to keep from going crazy.

Dr Rowland's response to an episode of probable sexual harassment was to say, "Mister, you get going or I'll shove you in the gutter." The man's reply: "Oh, excuse me, madam, I've made a mistake."

The practice of medicine was vastly different too. Doctors had to know how to extract teeth and how to use the reins to control a runaway team of horses. Medical payment records, kept in pen and ink, had entries such as "by potatoes, 17.05." Medical science sometimes had little to offer, yet ingenuity and common sense accomplished much. We might even consider reviving a long-forgotten idea (quarantine) used to contain epidemics such

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