So you think you've had a hard day. Most of us, don't shy away from a hard day however it can be wearing. I started to wonder about how difficult it was for our predecessors? how difficult was their average day?
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female physician. She embraced the challenge head-on and encouraged other females to pursue this Honor. After applying to all 19 schools medical schools and being rejected,she was finally Accepted. the student body was allowed to vote on it, and they decided to let a female enroll. As a joke! Despite starting mid session, by the end of the year she was at the head of the class. But it didn't stop there, she was blocked at every stepping stone, yet she conquered on. She was not allowed to practice and no one would rent her space for a office, and yet she conquered on. And she inspired and nurtured other women as they followed their own dreams of practicing medicine. She had wanted to pursue obstetrics surgery but lost her eye to purulent ophthalmia. She built a medical school and hospital for women to practice at that still stands today.
The first female surgeon was believe to be Mary Walker. She graduated from Syracuse medical school in 1855. She practiced for two year when the civil war broke out. They won't let her join as a physician so she volunteer as a nurse. She would care for both the confederates and the union with injuries, but was imprisoned for four months for spying. After that, they finally commissioned her as a assistant surgeon. She was given a Medal of Honor for her service. She refused to wear the typical lady's dress, and would wear a modified union solider uniform so she could have freedom off movement. However when her medal was revoked, she refuse to give it back and wore it anyway. Her grand daughter fought for this cause and had it awarded posthumously to her by President Carter in 1977.
So I think of these two ladies and admire their perservence. My troubles don't seem nearly so difficult after all. I promised myself I will continue to build on their legacy. I look forward to the day when our numbers equal our male colleagues. Life is not fair and anything really worth doing is difficult, but we are up to the Task. Be excellent. And now my hard day doesn't seem so bad.
As women surgeons and future women surgeons in 2016 do you feel that you are more able to move up in the surgical world then prior years?