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September 1998

Celebrating Women in Ophthalmology

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(9):1227-1228. doi:10.1001/archopht.116.9.1227

FOR THE LAST 8 YEARS the American Medical Association has celebrated the contributions of women to the field of medicine during the month of September. It is very fitting therefore as a journal that serves as the ophthalmic sibling in the family of American Medical Association journals that the Archives of Ophthalmology joins in the festivities. A thoughtful editorial written by Robin Ross, MD,1 titled "The Emergence of Women in Ophthalmology" published just last year marked the 125th anniversary of women practicing ophthalmology in the United States. Icons such as Dr Isabel Hayes Chapin Barrows, the first woman to practice ophthalmology in the United States, and Dr Georgiana Dvorak-Theobold, who in 1957 became the first woman in ophthalmology to win the Howe Medal, were introduced to a new generation of ophthalmologists. This new generation of ophthalmologists differs significantly from previous generations in one very important way, a larger number of women2 in a field once labeled "the gentleman's subspecialty." This discussion seeks to continue where Dr Ross' editorial ended. It is inspiring to reflect on our historical beginning, but it is also important to note the progress that has been made in the last 30 years and to recognize the changing "face" of medicine in general.

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