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January 1983

Ellen James Patterson, MD: 1873 to 1965

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Dr Stool); and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn (Dr Brown).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(1):60-61. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800150064013

Ellen James Patterson, MD, listed in the Who's Who in American Medicine of 1925 as a "laryngologist, rhinologist, and otologist," was the earliest woman in modern medicine to be prominently involved in the specialty of otolaryngology. Born in 1873 in Pittsburgh, to Joshua Coleman and Annie (Stephenson) Patterson, Dr Patterson attended Wellesley (Mass) College and received her MD degree from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in 1898. She received her Pennsylvania license in 1900 and for the next 16 years worked closely with Chevalier Jackson, MD, also of Pittsburgh, assisting in the development of bronchoscopy and esophagoscopy. Dr Jackson, who strongly supported the entrance of women into medicine ("It has been a solemn obligation all my professional life to help in every way possible every woman physician,"<sup>1</sup> Fig 1), publicly thanked his "able assistant," Dr Patterson, for her part in advancing the art of endoscopy.<sup>1,2</sup> When he suffered

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