Throughout history, men have dominated the various medical specialties, due to many reasons, including social discrimination between the sexes, and the deprivation of women from practicing the profession and enrolling in medical colleges. In the Greek civilization, it came to consider women's practice of medicine a crime punishable by death.
In a report published by the American magazine "Newsweek", writer Elizabeth Jackson says that despite all these difficulties and obstacles, many women have been able to excel in various medical fields and make several pioneering discoveries and great contributions in the world of medicine.
In this report, the writer sheds light on 15 women who left clear imprints in the world of medicine, past and present.
Agnudis (4th century BC)
Agnudis is believed to be the world's first female physician, and her story is often viewed as a legend.
This midwife and physician lived in Athens during the fourth century B.C., and became interested in medicine when she noticed several women dying in childbirth.
Practicing midwifery was a capital crime in her day, so she cut her hair and disguised herself as a man to learn medicine.
Having acquired the medical skills necessary to serve women during childbirth, she was so in demand that men in Athens believed she was seducing their wives.
She was eventually sentenced to death when her secret was revealed, but after protests erupted against the ruling regime, the law was changed and women were allowed to practice medicine.
Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Marie Curie is known primarily as a pioneering woman in the fields of physics and chemistry, but her discoveries also changed the face of medicine.
Curie was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903, with her husband, Pierre Curie, and another scientist who co-discovered radioactivity.
She also won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911 after discovering the elements polonium and radium in 1898.
These discoveries had a major impact in the field of medicine, as radium allowed the development of X-rays, which helped doctors diagnose bone fractures and serious diseases of internal organs.
Marie Curie's discoveries changed the face of medicine (networking sites)
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
British Florence Nightingale is widely considered an innovator of modern nursing.
Nightingale gained extensive experience as a nurse during the Crimean War in the 1850s, and encountered horrific conditions in Istanbul hospitals while treating British soldiers, noting that many of them died from poor hygiene in hospitals rather than battle injuries.
This made her focus on transforming the hospital into a clean and convenient place for treatment, and then she transferred these techniques to London after the war, and established most of the nursing bases that are still practiced today.
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States, and she decided to study medicine after a dying friend told her she thought she could have gotten better medical care from a woman rather than a man.
Blackwell found it difficult to realize her ambition, as more than 10 medical schools rejected her, and one of the colleges asked her to disguise herself as a man so that she could study, but she refused.
In 1849, Blackwell graduated from the Geneva School of Medicine in New York, and later established a hospital in New York aimed at helping women and the poor.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831-1895)
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first black woman in the United States to earn a medical degree, and worked as a nurse for 8 years before joining the New England Women's Medical College in Boston, graduating in 1864.
After the Civil War, Crumpler moved to the South to take care of enslaved people, and after returning to Boston, she employed her experience and left a clear imprint despite the racism and sexism she was subjected to, and in 1883 she published her reference book in the world of medicine "A Book of Medical Discourses" (A Book of Medical Discourses). ).
Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)
Margaret Sanger paved the way for modern birth control.
In the early 20th century, contraceptives were not widely available and the practice was considered unethical.
Sanger completed her nursing education in 1902, and in 1910 moved to New York City to become an activist in birth control, a cause she worked for the rest of her life.
Sanger opened some of the first birth control clinics in the United States in the 1920s and helped develop the world's first oral contraceptives in 1960, 6 years before her death at 86.
Margaret Sanger paved the way for modern birth control.
Early 20th Century (Library of Congress)
Gertrude Elyon (1918-1999)
Gertrude Elyon is a 1988 Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and pharmacologist. Eleon chose to study medicine after witnessing her grandfather die of cancer when she was 15 years old.
The Second World War had reduced the number of male chemists able to work in the United States, and through her competence and skills, Eleon was able to break into the field and develop new drugs and treatments for patients with leukemia, those in need of organ transplants, and antiviral drugs, and established a systematic model A pioneer in drug development that is still widely adopted today.
Mary Walker (1832-1919)
In 1863, Dr. Mary Walker became the first female surgeon to serve in the US Army during the Civil War.
She earned her medical degree in 1855 from Syracuse University, and her parents were abolitionists, encouraging her to wear "pants" at a young age and to do anything men could do.
Her first attempt as a surgeon with the army was unsuccessful because she was a woman, so she volunteered to work as a nurse caring for the wounded on the front lines, before her application was approved and she became an Army surgeon.
Walker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom after the war for her work caring for the wounded.
Sarah Josephine Baker (1873-1945)
Among the many accomplishments of Dr. Sarah Josephine Baker is the reduction of infant mortality in New York City.
In the early 20th century, she was appointed as the city's first chief of child health, developing pioneering programs in preventative care and basic hygiene.
In 1907, Baker was instrumental in discovering Mary Mallon, known as "Typhoid Mary", a typhoid cook who had caused the disease in many families.
Mary Engel Bennington (1872-1952)
Because she was a woman, Mary Engel Bennington did not earn her undergraduate degree after completing her studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 1892, and instead obtained a certificate of proficiency in chemistry.
This did not prevent her from obtaining a doctorate in chemistry from the same university after 3 years.
Bennington majored in bacteriology and played a pivotal role in raising awareness of the dangers of contaminants in food.
While working with the USDA in 1906, she helped create the Pure Food and Drug Act in response to consumer concerns about unsanitary conditions in food processing plants, was responsible for milk and dairy refrigeration standards initiatives, and spent the latter part of her career as an expert in home refrigeration and safe handling Fresh and frozen foods.
Gertie Corey (1896-1957)
In 1920, Dr. Gerti Curie obtained her medical degree from the German University in Prague, and immigrated to the United States with her husband, Dr. Karl Curie, two years after receiving her Ph.D.
The couple obtained US citizenship in 1928 and worked together for years in medical research.
In 1947, Curie was appointed Professor of Biochemistry at St. Louis University School of Medicine in Washington, and in the same year she shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine with her husband and Argentine physiologist Bernardo Houssay for their discovery of the glycogen catalytic pathway.
Over the course of her career, Curie has published numerous research papers in prestigious scientific journals and journals.
Virginia Apgar (1909-1974)
In 1952, Dr. Virginia Apgar created the "Apgar Scale", an easy and quick way to assess a baby's health during the first minutes after birth.
This scale was a pioneering step in the field of newborn health and is still used today.
Initially planning to become a surgeon, Apgar eventually specialized in anaesthesia, and in 1949 became the first woman to teach at Columbia College of Medicine and Surgery, when anesthesiology research was transformed into an independent academic department.
Virginia Apgar created the "Apgar scale", to assess the health of the child during the first minutes after birth (communication sites)
Antonia Novello (1944)
In 1990, Dr. Novello became the first female chief medical officer in the United States.
A major in pediatrics and public health, Novello held a senior position at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development prior to her appointment as chief medical officer.
Her interest in medicine stemmed from her own experience as a child, as she was hospitalized numerous times in circumstances that were revealed later in her life.
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
Rosalind Franklin's research has played a prominent role in the development of the understanding of DNA.
Her interest in medicine began in the 1930s when she was a teenager, and she defied her family's wishes and earned her medical degree from Cambridge University in 1941.
Franklin discovered the double helix structure of DNA, a discovery that later had enormous scientific and medical implications, and she died in 1958 at the age of 37.
Françoise Bar-Sinoussi (1947)
Dr. Senussi - Professor Emeritus at the Pasteur Institute and Honorary Director of Research at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research - is known for her contribution to the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS in 1983. This discovery helped millions of AIDS patients live longer and healthier lives, and for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine In 2008, she has written many books and articles on this subject.Keywords: