Date

2016

Department or Program

History

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Ryan Quintana

Abstract

This work seeks to investigate how early women physicians in the United States reconciled and retained femininity while also earning professional authority. Chapter 1 investigates the general circumstances that led to the opening of the medical profession, allowing women the opportunity to participate in it. Chapter 2 engages with the rhetorical strategies used by women physicians to counter their detractors. Chapter 3 examines the motivations women had for entering the field and what they perceive the role of women in medicine to be. The third chapter also examines how use of professional authority was used to reframe gender and marginalized racial groups.

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