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February 7, 1959


Author Affiliations

118 Riverside Dr. New York 24.

JAMA. 1959;169(6):640. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000230096022

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To the Editor:—  In Medical News in The Journal of Dec. 20, 1958, on page 2160, a statement appears which is frequently made and is not quite correct. It is in regard to the Elizabeth Blackwell award, and it states that Elizabeth Blackwell was "reportedly the first woman doctor in the world." It is more correct to speak of Elizabeth Blackwell as the first woman doctor of modern times, and even this is not quite true because there is the case of Dr. James Barry, a medical officer in the British Army, who died in London in 1865 and was found at post mortem to have been a woman. In the Greco-Roman period there were women physicians; in the Middle Ages there was the famous woman doctor, Trotula, who served on the faculty of the Salerno Medical School during the eleventh century; and later in the eighteenth century there was

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