From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology

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Rutgers University Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 273 pages
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An examination of the development of modern medical treatment of women and the related history of women's health in the mid-1800s. McGregor looks not only at the medical figure who devised and practiced the innovative therapies, but also at the history of the patient experience in the development and the professionalization of the medical specialty. In exploring the controversial career of J. Marion Sims, the father of gynaecology, and the history of the Woman's Hospital of the State of New York, McGregor chronicles the emergence of a practice involving previously untried medical techniques and the use of experimentation on patients according to a social hierarchy based on race and sex. Using patient records and archival material from the female governors and administrators at the hospital, the study shows how a new medical practice developed out of the changing patterns and historical experiences of childbirth, as well as out of the context of the social relations of the sexes.
  

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Contents

Peoples and Places
9
Home of Simss first patients in Montgomery Alabama
30
Anarcha Betsey and Lucy
33
J Marion Sims with Anarcha Betsey and Lucy and two physician partners
44
Missions and Medicine
69
Sarah Doremus
70
First Womans Hospital
73
The logo for the Womans Hospital Association
87
A School for Gynecologists
127
Thomas Addis Emmet
128
Anterior view of female pelvis
134
Ancillary view of female pelvis
135
Baldwin and Wetmore Pavilions
168
Power Politics and Profession
169
Uniformed nurse with patient in Simss Position receiving anesthesia
182
Cottages around the Wetmore Pavilion built to prevent contagion and hospitalism
194

Patients and Practice
105
Sims and Margaret Brennan illustrating the steps of vesicovaginal fistula surgery and the Simss Position
106
Chart on the origins of vesicovaginal fistula
114
Elizabeth Cullum member of the Board of Lady Supervisors at the Womans Hospital
211
Stained glass window in the chapel of the Womans Hospital
212
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About the author (1998)

McGregor is an associate professor of history and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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