Tuesday 25 January 2022

Marla Ahlgrimm On Women In Medicine

Marla Ahlgrimm

Putting young women and medical careers is something Marla Ahlgrimm remains passionate about. In the 1970s, when the young future pharmacist first decided on her career calling, she faced much adversity as a woman. Fortunately, things are changing, and it is increasingly common to see women in the healthcare field. Keep reading for a brief Q&A on women in medicine. 
Q: It was the very first female physician? 
Marla Ahlgrimm: In the United States, that was technically Elizabeth Blackwell. However, women have been practicing medicine as far back as written history, and likely even further. There are records from ancient Egypt showing a female physician in the Fourth Dynasty. Her name was Peseshet, and her official title was, “Lady overseer of the female physicians.” This asserts that there were many other women in this position. 

Q: Why were only celibate women at one point allowed to study the healing arts? 
Marla Ahlgrimm: Celibate women were considered pure in medieval and prior times. These women were often nuns, and one of the most famous of these was Hildegard of Bingen. She was a spiritual woman who often claimed to experience religious visions. She is known for having authored The Subtleties of the Diverse Nature of Created Things. In this extensive manuscript, she made many suggestions to aid the general population as well as other healthcare providers. 
Q: After Elizabeth Blackwell, who was the next female physician? 
Marla Ahlgrimm
Marla Ahlgrimm:
Elizabeth Blackwell was a trailblazer. And, there were many more female healthcare providers to come after her. Around the same time, however, a woman named Harriet Hunt applied to Harvard. Her request was to either attend medical school or, at the very least, be permitted to attend medical lectures. Despite a strong objection from the then all-male student body, Hunt received her degree as a homeopathic physician. 
Q: Who is Rebecca Lee Crumpler? 
Marla Ahlgrimm: Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African-American female to earn a medical degree, in 1831 in Delaware. Before her admittance to medical college, she worked as a nurse for eight years.


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