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Since the Time of the
Blackwell Sisters, Little More Than Half a Century AgoTheir Sex Has Made Marvelous Progress in Medicine, By Winnifred Harper Cooley ?TV*h?ri pain and nncnlsh wrlnpr tti* brow. A mtaisterins an?;el thou." HY has public opinion been so hard on the woman doctor when she sought to fulfill her essen? tial:^ womanly function of alleviating pain? Why have we frowned upon her because she desired to do this angelic work with skill and education, but never objected when she crudely labored over sick-beds or ignorantly acted as midwife? Why has she been barred out of medical schools, anil yet welcomed as nurse; railed at as surgeon, but sought as servant? We would scarcely like to hint that it is because the skilled work of a physician is lucrative and the others not that men have stubbornly and violently tried to forbid eager young women their chance to perform the greatest possible social service?the curing of disease. Whatever the. reason ftrr the old-time prejudice, it was not effectual, for the doors of the medical colleges have been battered down, and more than 6noo women physi? cians and surgeons are today practicing in America, In Sew York there are more than 200 in the telephone book, and other cities show a proportionate number. Then there are women dentists and osteopaths? and thousands of trained nurses. The first dentist to follow our flag into the Philippines was a woman, Dr. Anna Sawyer. One woman dentist in New England employs six assistants. There are several hundred women dentists, deft of touch and successful. INCIDENTALLY, there are 400 women pharmacists in the Unlte<5Hffa,<es?,twenty women In Manhattan owning nnd-'mahftging their own drug stores. The. hlchest rating ever given any candidate at a druggists' examination was awarded Mrs. Marietta Hftrtnan, of Syracuse, by the New York sta'e board of rharmsrists. In Kentucky. Kessle "White Struggled three years, Mil In ISSfi the court of appeals affirmed the right of unmen to dispense medicines. In Enrland and other foreign lands house sur g*o':S. h",-)*! doctors in hospitals, asylums, etc. are wr.rnen. and In Paris theie Is a woman medical exam? iner of trirls for the public schools. I? may not be generally known that the head of the rhlld hvglene. department of the. board of health, greater New York, is a young woman, r>r. Josephine Baker. But before describing her brilliant career In This most modern municipal supervision of the little ones within our gates It may be Interesting fo recall the struggles of the pioneer women physicians. When the first woman in the t'r.ited States, after? ward "Dr." Elizabeth Blackwell, wanted to study medicine, not one school would admit her. Since that timt, half a century aeo, I;,,000 women have been admitted to praot i. e. Elizabeth Bl?ckwell (sister-in-law and sister of two r?rr.arkab!e pioneers. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first woman minister, and l>r. Emily Blackwell, and sister of Henry Mackwi.ll. who married Lucy e'.one) applied tu twelve colleges before the Geneva, Nj Y, Medical School finally admitted her as a student. This was In 1*46. Today each year sees an average of ahevjt 2000 women medical students, scattered among the various colleges. FOR RACE PROGRESS Doctor Blackwe.ll herself said In an address: "Among all the Step? for the progress of the race, 1 consider the admission of women to the medical or ifesslon the most Important. Our future women physicians will rejoice to help Innhe construction 1 that hol.imple of medicine, whose foundation-stone must be sympa? thetic justice." ? When she began to study medicine, Elizabeth Blackwell found that the women at her boarding house refused to speak to her. ar.cl those passlr.g her on the street held their skirts aside ao as not to touch htr. She lived to see her sister, It. Emily Blackwell, dean of the Women's- Medical College * ud the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. The first was founded because of the ImpOSslbllltv of women gaining entrance Into the established me'dical colleges, and ceased to exist when the restrictions ? n the great established institutions were re:r.. . . ,:. In England many fine and aristocratic women long have practiced medicine, such as Mrs. G..rn ?? An? derson. M. I?.. and Mrs Scharlieb, M l>. It Is uni? versally true that women physicians, In spite of the exactions of the calling, Interest themselves in all humanitarian movement.- and always are t. ... j In alleviating the disabilities of their own sex The only barrier now existing In the. public mind is the fixed Idea that women physicians are not ?killed as men because not so highly educated. A >? n?e of delicacy would lmpe] thousands of women lo patronize doctors of r> -ir ?w i ex foi special II peculiar to women ai d af attend lans I irln - childbirth; bot ?fter, they f. el thai they "dare not trust a woman" at such a critical time because I ? ? health Is In peril <>i.\? I'.;.* ??- ? ? w:.? ? -. away with this groin,.: ? ? The sumo appllet to specialties such o? surgery a steady hand, an unerring ability and Judgment, cool? ness and bra-, cry and reso ircefulnei belong to the skilled surgeon Can a woman combine these Qualities? In spite of the stories ,:r!o.-it of i ., ?local male physician* wh - * ixicatlon ->r for some incredible cause, have left the Instrumenta Ir 'he human bndv after an operatl ewlng thi m bp within?In spite of'such outrage ., > , cases (unproved, perhaps, but believed)?people tstlll persist in trusting: a man merely because he la a man. As an actual fact, thero now are famous women surgeons, specialists and heads of insane asylums. Dr. Hannah Graham Is a well-known surgeon of the. middle west. She was mentioned aa a substitute for the mayor recently, when th>- Hoosler capital was about to lose Its executive temporarily. The local papers on this occasion lauded her. and the New York Times said editorially that the change would not be detrimental to the western city. The famous, Neuronhurst Sanitarium, of Indian? apolis, is under the entire supervision of women. It once was known us Doctor Fletchers, but now is in charge of Dr Mary A. Spink It la a strictly private psychopathic hospital, with only women supervisors and physicians. It affords personal individual euro to (hose of distressed minds, and when it Is possible for such to bo cured, they have not the Ignominy of having been In an "Insane asylum." Ttie history of Indianapolis says: "Dr. Mary Angela Spink is well entitled t.. classification among the most distinguished representatives of the medical profession ? ? ? and she holds prestige as one of the leading women physi? cians and surgeons of the I'ni'.n. ? * * "Doctor Spink, as a neurologist rind specialist in the treatment of mental diseases, has gained a position of prominence and authority. She has done much original research, und h?r system of mounting the Ititeremnlnl circulation has gained her the highest indorsement from the medical profession. * ? ? Imbued with the deepest sympathy and exemplifying the most generous attributes of gracious womanhood, she has uplifted her sympathy from the plane of mere sentiment to the more lofts' level of actuating motives for helpfulness She has been a valued member of the state board of charities for nineteen years. ? ? ? ? "She has had particular success with the young victims of hystromanla, and by advice to mothers and teachers she has guided many a young girl through mental disturbances and made her a normal member of society, tilted for wlfehood and motherhood." And here at last the radical- can Join bands with the conservatives: we have this "n*W woman." a great specialist on brain surgery, lining many morbid girla for useful citizenship as healthy mothers. It Is interesting to learn fr..:n Doctor Spink that employment is regarded as being of the highest value to the ins.me. She tells ma that English county insane asylums (ire models for the world. Here the* cottage system, simple, natural environment and the normal trades and industries of everyday life effect many permanent cures-. The lute Doctor Fletcher, famous as a neurologist, and Doctor Spink herself, with her large sanatorium a,nd humane Impulses, governed by a wls.- trained Intellect, carry out these wonderful modern measures, which go so far toward regen? erating humanity suffering from a "mind diseased." Pennsylvania has her coterie of modern women physician! distinguished throughout the country. On? of the best known is the surgeon. Dr. Ella 1*. Everltt, of Philadelphia, who is connected with the Woman's College. Another Is Dr. Plara Marshall, dean of the college, in Norristown, p.a.. Dr. Elizabeth c. Spencer is the chief resident physician of the woman's depart? ment in the Statu Hospital for the Insane Dr. Ann Preston also is well known outside of Philadelphia. Dr. Hannah K Longshore, mother of the wife of the present mayor of Philadelphia. Mrs. Rudolph Blank? enburg, lorg has been revered. She is uno of the very earliest pioneers, having been born In IMS. She was delighted when, in 1S50, the Woman's Medical College was opened, and throughout her long life practiced medicine with zeal and the enthusiastic certainty that women were oulte as necessary in the medical and humanitarian world as men Her husband always was most encouraging, and her two children have been a credit. New York and Boston and Chicago and Pan Fran? cisco have their well-known women doctors. The American Medbul Association lias an Important public health committee. Whose object is education among women regarding the care of health. On this are six prominent women physicians, from New York, Denver. Boston, Dayton, O.. and Atlanta. Oa. The organizer o: t he Woman'! Medical Association, and its Ural president, was Dr. Julia Holmes Smith, of Chicago. Large and Important meetings, open to the public and co-operated In by the hygiene committee of the New York City Federation ot Women's Clubs, have been held Weekly for several seasons in the Academy of Medicine and attended by thousands. These were managed and presided over by .? young '.vornan physi? cian, a charming southerner, \v:..> studied the plague In India as a finish to her medical education. One of the most prominent women physicians in this country is Dr. Sarah McXutt, of New York city. Although nothing usually it dull us tho study of ancestry, the record of hers n-a.l like an early Amer? ican romance. Some of iier !? minine forbears were physicians in the primitive, helpful way of tho early colonial days, one woman bring so Indispensable to the community that her husband was oif.-red a tract ? ?: land. If he would live there and "bring his wife Sarah." This Quaker. Sarai. Weir, was for thirty years the only physician on N'antucket Island. An? other ancestress who was a doctor In her dav la said to have officiated at the birth ol B992 children! When I last talked with Doctor McXutt a few days ago 1 found her optimistic and insistent on the good side of human nature. "I never had any hard times." she insist, d. "as far us ina.-.u..:..- opposition Is con? tented. Men always were courteous In the clinics, and there did not seem to he prejudice or jealousv. Of course the pioneer woman liad some "awful expe? riences, but by my day wo were an accepted fact. Iteally, a woman has an . isier time establishing a practice, nowadays than a man. because there are special needs for her?tho work for women and chil? dren. I confess thero Is a younger set of men that opposes womon physicians; but I believe they are actuated by discouragement over tho cutthroat com? petition of modern times, and bo experience a kind of desperation. They do not accept the idea of tho nur trival of the fittest and realize that women must com? pete also, and only those will succeed as physicians (either men or women) who are thoroughly qualified.'' Dr. Sarah McXutt studied medicine at the Woman's Medical College of tho Now York Inllrmury. receiving her degree In 1ST". She served two years as interno In the college hospital; then visited Kurope, studying tho principal hospitals. For years she was an In? structor in gynecology, and luter was assistant to the chair of general surgery In the Woman's Medical Col? lege. Specializing on the diseases of women and chil? dren, she gradually achieved a national reputation. When the .New York Postgraduate Hospital was organized she became lecturer on diseases of children. Strange as It may seem, at that time there was not in all New York a single ward In any hospital devoted exclusively to young children. Doctor MoNutt founded the babies' wards and gave bedside Instruction In children's diseases that could not l.e obtained else? where. She established the fact that infantile paral? ysis following difficult labor was due to msningeal iiemorrhnge. which resulted from Injury to the brain during birth, and presented this discovery in a paper before the American Neurological Society upon her admission to that body In 1&S4 HOSPITAL FOR BABIES The paper was published In the American Journal of Medics,] Science, and was quoted by Doctor flower, of London, in a great textbook. Out of the babies' wards grew the babies' hospital, which was opened In 1SSS. with Doctor McXutt and her sister. Dr. Julia McXutt, Us attending physicians. Doctor Julia founded the Postgraduate Training School for Nurses, which led directly to such institutions being connected with three of the largest hospitals In New York city. So many vital phases of medical practice are con? nected with Doctor .M' Nuti's career that a layman can scarcelv appro, late the long, painstaking research and detailed devoted practice; hut one must speak of her original work In connection with the morgue, The Idea of uslnj. tb" material of the New York morgue for instruction regarding the pathological conditions of .hildien originated with her Much \aluabte knowledge was added to (he practlee of medlcirie through this Scientific papers, almost by the hundred, have hern written by Donor McNutt. The most skeptical person on the subject of women In the professions can scarcely fall to be Impressed by the value to humanity such devotion to the per? fecting of the race through its children us exhibited by a long life of labor and love such as lived by this woman She has found time. In addition to all her cares, to dev< te certain activities to women's clubs, to equal suffrage and to a modern association of men and women called the Society for Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, whose efforts ar? In behalf of social purity, but whose methods are scientific and educational, pot sensational and sentimental "How do men patients heppen to seek a woman doctor?" 1 asked th's veteran. She answered me oxactlv as the young woman lawyer did to whom I out a similar question regarding men clients "Be? cause they hear of some cure effected. Naturally, people are eager to find a doctor who has had success with Ihelr peculiar ailment. If a man learns that ?ome special woman physician has effected eures of ?ome stomach trouble that he is suffering with, ho very naturally tries r.r-r and is delighted If he is cured, and* tells his friends " "I rannot quite comprehend your extreme opti? mism." I ventured, "for even I In my short life have run against much violent prejudice against women doctors." "You, as an outsider, probably would," she replied. "for you would hear people argue about It. We only get those who come to us voluntarily because they believe in us. and the acoffera are too polite to actually assail us to our face. Anyway, my life has been filled with helpful companions." Married women. Doctor McNutt believes, from ob? servation, can carry on their profession as doctors extremely well. There is much ottlce practice, and frequently women doctors marry man physicians, bo thai the practice can be divided as RCCma most appro? priate. Several well-known young physicians now are carrying on their own excellent humanitarian practices, yet are happily married, Doctor Behringer has a baby, but still lectures on materla medlca and directs the girls" gymnasium at Cornell University. A prominent woman physician of Boston declares to me tli.it women now are so well established In medicine that there Is no debatable question Involved and. therefore, no especial reason for discussing then career any more than that of the thousands of men doctors! In lioston there are still living some of those Intrepid pioneers who paved the waj for the work of women in the greatest of all professions. These are: Dr. Augusta l'ope, Dr. Emily Pope and the now famous Dr. Mary Smith. i he are ,,f the eyes, ears, nose and throat and den? tistry seem to this Boston woman peculiarly suitable feminine occupations. In surgery the deft touch of worrfbn makes thorn especially successful. The Held la unlimited In bacteriology, for they can upend tlmo but no physical eft'>rt at the microscope. Obstetrics and the care of children always uppeal to tho medical woman. Thus, my Hoslon friend. And now we come to the wonderful work for chil? dren being accomplished by the New York city de? partment of health under the direction of a young woman. Dr. .los- phine Baker. The reason a woman la at <he head of the child hygiene department of greater New York Is that she proved herself elllclent In other positions. She was graduated In 1XDX. and In 1901 wna appointed a medical Inspector In the department of health, and In 1907 assistant to the commissioner. In 1909 she became director of the division of child hygiene, the first person to fill this position. Tnls wonderful modern department demonstrates the first attempt by nny municipality In America to place under one administrative head all municipal activities relating to the tr-.i!?h of children. Its effort Ih to care for the health of children from birth to working age. For 1012 the appropriation Is 1516,993. Dr. Jo rephln? Haker Is In charge of this work for the entire city. Under her are an assistant director, superin? tendent of nurses, live horougn chiefs, a supervising inspector and a supervlsins nurse of the infants' milk stations, on the division staff are l II medical In? spectors, ZCl nurses. ">', assistants, 23 cleaners and an office staff of 86. The activities of the division concern: 1. Control and supervision of mldwlvea. ? Reduction of Infant mortality. s tiupfrvlslnf of foundling hat,lea. i. Supervising ?f Institution? ?od dav nurirrlfta S Mr-dlml inspection nnt examination of ?chool chil? dren *. Issuance- Of mercantile certificates. If any one fancies this Is an easv task for a city of nearly 5.000,000 Inhabitants let him consider a few aspects There are 1300 mldwlvoB, who reported last year oO.OoO births, or about t? per cent of all the city a births The present strict supervision of these has resulted In remarkable reduction of Infant mortality, as the largest number of babies dl<- within a few. days or weeka of hlrth. This season lifty-flve milk stations will lie operated under the city hoard of health to provide poor mothers instruction In baby feeding and enable them to obtain a supply of safe milk at the lowest market price At every station ar>- nurse and doctor, and >aih baby Is weighed and its Individual needs studied Last year S?.2\ were looked after, and the reduction of In? fant mortality was so great that the number of sta? tions was Increased almost fourfold 3000 CITY MOTHERS The mortality In foundling asylums used to he eo exresslve that It became advisable to board halites out In private home?, arid these foster-mothers must ob? tain a permit from the board of health ar.d remain under Its supervision There are some 3000 of them The 700,000 public school children are under con? tinuous medical supervision for 'it the detection and exclusion from school of all suffering from contagious diseases, and <" > the detection and correction of ph leal defects. Each school Is visited by Inspector or n-irje and contagious eye and skin diseases treated The results seem miraculous In IWi 57.?>r,4 children wen er eluded for contagious diseases, in 1911 only 1365 Perhaps the most Important phase of the entire child hygiene work Is the supervision of children be? fore they enter the terrible commercial ar-na. The state child-labor law provides that no girl or ho> between 14 and 11 may go to work In New York elty without an employment certificate lesued by the de. partment of health. The department examines every child physically and refuses to grant a certificate If It Is unable to work No one can gain even a superficial conception of this great service to humanity being given by this gifted voting woman, or. whom n-i'* so wondrous .-? respon? sibility, without being deeply awed and impress,, i Certainly the mothering Instinct in these days ovei spreads'the whole of a seething city. When I asked Doctor Baker to sum up her estimate of the achieve? ments of the child hygiene department; she said: "This work has a distinct social aspect and stand? for the prevention of existing defects. Trained nurses form the connecting link between scientific knowledge and applied results in municipal health work. I feel that in the wonderful reduction in Infant mortality that has taken place during the last year, and in other excellent results, too much credit cannot be given the actual workers The nurse who labors In the division of child hygiene is !>??: forming a social service of the highest order. nn?l most of them bring to this work the best they have to give of themselves and tltelr Interest." What Doctor Baker fays of the rank and !ile of nurses surely may be Raid of h'-r. the distinguished head of the department, wbo.se time and genius are given to mothering a whole city in a way tie . er dreamed of in that much-lauded past which knew not women doctors. A<]L /r thou8??d years of futile en [??'?- to <*mV\s with the excellent injunction, "Man, know thyself," wo have to ?! ,r'" ly- modestly, to tPyinB to know something about our children The most interesting of these mysteries of ehildhoocl that lias hod n partial solution of late npplics to thai previously unaccountable phase of l)t?v existence where he can'i be happy unless he is raising ('uin in school. There arc old-fashioned, plain, hnrdheoded, if not hardhearted, lonelier*, who, remembering their own schooldays, explain it by iho sheer cussodncss of the young human animal. Hat recent special? ists have subdivided the cusscdncss mixture into natural high spirit.-, unnaturally foul schoolroom air. defective eyesight, adenoids, bad heredity, malnutrition and such n splendid array of afflic? tions and misfortunes that it would almost incite n boy to tukc the thirty-third degree in untidiness for the sake of getting the reputation of having all of them at once. Then ho would have Torn Sawyer's famous soro toe looking like a mere splinter. But none of these, it seem?, adequately explains why whole classes >?( children get the. habit of schoolroom riotousness. There is another long suspected cause. And that is the colors they see ahoui them. EVERY ONE knows thai It is dangerous tr> naunt red at u bull Thi bull doesn't like It. and, next thlnc you know, his head goes down and you go up; and It dept nds ? n where you land, and how. whether he gives you a chance ever to rise again. In two sueh large eltie<< as Chicago and Philadelphia the principle has been recognized that children are as prone to he Influenced by colo although they don't go quite as far as the bull in thelt ? rcltementi The authori? ties of the two eltlea differ as to the details of theory and practice; but. In the main, they perceive. In the Common abuse Of colors In the schoolroom, some long unknown, subconscious Incitements to mischief and disorder. And there are whole stntesful of schools where glar? ing colors arc laid on walls with a ferocity of taste that would delight Fiji Islanders. This Is Just the way It was put by Chicago's expert, Miss;1 Marie j. Hesse, of the Chicago school board, who was chairman Of the school Improvement committee for Die Congress of Illinois Mothers. She said that describes the state of color afiihs in Illinois and In Chicago Itself. The discipline tif the schools is all upset by horrible mixtures of pink, red ami green that would need angels to look at them Without hen.:,- , i to i be monkeyshlnes that set order at defiance and a teacher's authority at naught. BRIGHT HUES STIMULATE lied and pink?in fact, any colors other than dark blue and dark green?so stimulate Ihe childish nerves that it becomes virtually Impossible lor a boy to refrain from kicking t.<o fellow In front of him under rover of the desk, arni the buy beside hitn from Indulging in the pleasing, yet reprehensible, juvenile diversion of burling spitballs. In emulation of the famous and revered Three Fingered Drown. The well-known medical expert on schools. Dr. Walter S. Cornell, who la director of the division of medical research at the New Jersey School for the Feeble-Minded, as well as of medical Inspection for the public schools of Philadelphia, thinks that very much Of Miss Hesse's observations is correct. He Is tho author of the work, "Health and Medical Inspection of School Children," and Is lecturer on child hygiene at the University of Pennsylvania; so his Is the. scientific view attained after research of the kind that embraces pretty nearly all of the modern studies concentrating on the more youthful portions belonging to the science of man's knowing himself. "There is assuredly n difference In effects of .colors on the emotions." Doctor Cornell said. "On the- general subject very much has been written, ani) the literature that applies to colors contains, many curious examples of theoretical a.tt?mpts to make, colors serve practical use with the emotions There was one superintendent of an insane asylum. In the middle west, who tried to help the patient? suffering from melancholia by coloring the walla with red. I have heard of one mill owner, on '.he other hand, who was said to have removed the red paper with which the wails had been covered, because it made the employes so lively they did not properly attend to their work. These are details In the general Interest that has been taken in the subject of colors, as they can apply to human emotions. I would not say with what scientific accuracy they have been reported. "But that color effects are appreciable Is something science does admit. 1: is known, for example, that after a Fhort lime violet rays become intolerable to most people-. Miss Hesse Is collect in her general estimate of the jarring Influence, or the stimulating influence, colors can exert. "But the utilization of any color In dark tones Is another matter, when it conns to its introduction into a schoolroom, however excellent may be its Intrinsic value us a hue in relation to the eye an 1 the nerves. The prime essential 61 any schoolroom is light, and wherever a daik color tone Is employed the sacrifice of this essential illumination becomes too great to be advis? able. Citren is. without doubt, an admirable color for any purpose in win. b the long-continued use of the eyes Is Involved. But dark green, like dark blue, la prone to absorb so inut h of the priceless illumination the school? room needs that no institution ran afford to Indulge in It. The child must, above all else, see under conditions of the utmost facility; else it labors under a strain, a handicap, which no agenry can nullity. "The practice in the Philadelphia schools Is to paint the walls, a light green and to tint the ceiling in buff, so as to throw down all the light that can be contribute-1 from above. In (he course of building up the publio school system there remain some buildings presenting the problems ol looms which, for such purposes, are too dark even for the use of the light green that is favored because of Its grateful, restful hue. It is the praetlcA Inere to paint walls as well as ceilings In Ihe light preserving buff tint, so that the prime need of adequate Illumination shall be satisfied.'' "By tho way, doctor." he was asked, "no we know sny more about the colors we ought to use In our homes than so many school boards seem to employ in the schools?" "It Is a pltv that we don't." wns ire significant answer "The use of colors that shall not be Irritant to the eye and the emotions is a physiological law?a law of nature We should make the color tints, In th? homes we oecupv, as nearly compliant with that law ai ?we are learning lo make Ihe s. hdolt coins " So it Is lust possible that man s knowledge of himself may ultimately get some real help from his modern, modest attempt to know something about hir children And. then, what will become of the popular carmine dining room?