Reviews Exhibition

Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 30 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1054
  1. Tony Delamothe, web editor (

    An exhibition at the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, United States, until 2 April 2005

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    They treat the whole patient, striving to balance their personal lives and the needs of individual patients and entire communities. Deciding which issues to focus upon, they direct research and funding and are instrumental in implementing the policies, developing the drugs and treatments, and drafting the legislation to meet emerging medical challenges. They are…America's women physicians.

    So not all that different from men, then? “Changing the Face of Medicine” celebrates women's achievement of parity with men in American medicine, while giving due attention to the often appalling adversities over which they have triumphed.

    It took a century and a half. When Elizabeth Blackwell graduated from Geneva Medical College in upstate New York in 1849 she was the first woman to qualify as a doctor since the renaissance. Even then, she had been admitted on to the course only after the male student body had voted …

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