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April 21, 1894

From a Woman Physician.

JAMA. 1894;XXII(16):599. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420950035012

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An Open Letter to Dr. W. W. Parker.

Conant, Lake Co., Florida, April 6, 1894.

With the courtesy of a Virginia gentleman, and there are none more courteous, and with the fairness of age and experience, will Dr. Parker listen to my story, and hear my plea, before he utters sentence against me—a woman physician?

My first year as doctor was spent as interne in a hospital conducted by women for women. During the year there were nearly one hundred births, two-thirds of which were illegitimate. The rules of the institution admitted only unfortunate girls who were primipara. No mother was permitted to leave without her child, nor child without its mother, if both were living. There I heard their stories; shall I repeat them?

An ignorant child of fourteen a mother! What is the age of legal consent in your State? A domestic chloroformed in an institution having male

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