women doctors of the early 1900’s
Here are two books showing day to day accounts of doctoring life for women doctors of the early 1900’s. To read about other women’s lives and especially from that time period in history gives a good insight into the time period and the individual you are reading about. We all have our joys and sorrows as women.
Here’s the first one I read called As Long As Life (edited by F A Loomis) which is about Mary Canaga Rowland MD ( 1873-1966 was her life span). She practiced medicine in more than one state and all her cases she mentions were quite interesting. These pioneer doctors (men too) had to make tons of house calls with their horse and buggy or just their horse. Don’t you think that was the tough part? Usually it was way late at night that they’d have to drive off in to the night. Mary’s first husband was a doctor as well, and that is where she got her start and encouragement to go on in the field with further training and she sure needed it because her husband dies early on, so she has to have a livelihood. Her husband was murdered!
The next book is The Doctor Wore Petticoats (by Chris Enss). This book has 11 short stories of woman doctors that came out west (Mary Rowland from above is one of the featured doctors). All’s I can say is that they all had a lot of diligence to get educated and practice medicine. Most were married eventually, but family life didn’t work out well because they were busy with patients therefore most were divorced. One of the Mormon doctors (there were 2 in the book) had a husband with other wives. Included in their medical practice was the pulling of teeth. That’s about all the dentistry there was back then.