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December 1997

Women in Ophthalmology

Author Affiliations

Frankfurt, Germany

Arch Ophthalmol. 1997;115(12):1607. doi:10.1001/archopht.1997.01100160777032

We read with interest the editorial by Ross1 regarding women in ophthalmology, which appeared in the April 1997 issue of the Archives. The contributions of these scientists inspire women to pursue careers in ophthalmology and vision research.

Clearly, the numbers regarding the current representation of women in American academic ophthalmology indicate that improvement is necessary. This trend, of course, is not unique to America. In Europe, we also seek parity. In Frankfurt, in 1842, Maria Francisca Charlotta Gehringin was the first female ophthalmologist approved by Karl VII of Bayern as "operatricin, Leib- und Wundaerztin" (physician and operating surgeon).

Gehringin fought to have her privileges accepted by the city of Frankfurt.2 Today, of the 36 ophthalmology chairs in Germany, only one is occupied by a woman—Professor Ingrid Kreissig, at Tübingen.

In Austria, in the late 1860s, Isabel Barrows was the first woman admitted to study ophthalmology at the

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