Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine

Park Row. Mar. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9780778389392. $27.99. MED
Using her expert research skills, journalist Campbell writes about the academic journeys and personal lives of three trailblazing Victorian women in the medical profession: Elizabeth Blackwell, Lizzie Garrett, and Sophia Jex-Blake (with appearances from the rest of the Edinburgh Seven). Separately and together, the actions of these three women paved the way for equality for women in the medical field, both in the United States and in Europe. This is the story of how they all had to hold strong against family pressures to comply with societal behavioral norms, use their intelligence and networking connections, and harness persistence. Campbell’s research follows an intricate paper trail that includes diaries, letters, and notes. The author hopes that future professionals can be inspired to continue to advocate for equal representation, as modern-day medicine is still affected by the remnants of patriarchal structures and attitudes.
VERDICT The story of these trailblazing women and their unique achievements within the medical profession in the 19th century is well written and benefits from bountiful primary sources. It will be a great resource for further in-depth biographical studies. A highly recommended purchase for public library collections, and those that focus on health policy and women in STEM careers.
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