ANN PRESTON, M.D. (1813-1872): A BIOGRAPHY. THE STRUGGLE TO OBTAIN TRAINING AND ACCEPTANCE FOR WOMEN PHYSICIANS IN MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY AMERICA (PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA; QUAKER, MEDICINE)

PAULINE POOLE FOSTER, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Ann Preston was one of the leaders in the mid-nineteenth century women's movement to invade the male field of medicine. In 1851 she was a member of the first class to graduate from the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania. Within a few years, she became the first woman professor at the college. Later she was to become its first female dean and one of the first women to serve on its board of corporators.^ Her dedication to the cause of women's medical education was remarkable. She stressed the need for well qualified faculty members; she improved and expanded the curriculum; she promoted the lengthening of the school term. When she failed in her initial attempts to obtain clinical instruction for her students at Philadelphia hospitals, she, almost single-handedly, founded Woman's Hospital of Pennsylvania, an institution in which they could gain experience in treating women and children. Eventually she was successful in opening the doors of most of the hospital clinics of the city to women.^ Through her personal example, her leadership at the college, and her persuasive influence, Ann Preston was effective in promoting educational, professional, and social changes designed to establish woman's right to study and practice medicine, raise the standards of her medical training, and remove the barriers which blocked the path of women who aspired to become competent, respected, successful physicians.^ This dissertation is a biography of Ann Preston. It follows a loosely chronological order. Information is arranged according to the predominant interests and influences at different periods of her life. The work attempts to shed light upon the kind of woman she was, the hereditary and environmental factors influential in shaping her life, and her impact upon the society in which she lived and upon future societies. ^

Subject Area

Biography|Women's Studies

Recommended Citation

PAULINE POOLE FOSTER, "ANN PRESTON, M.D. (1813-1872): A BIOGRAPHY. THE STRUGGLE TO OBTAIN TRAINING AND ACCEPTANCE FOR WOMEN PHYSICIANS IN MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY AMERICA (PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA; QUAKER, MEDICINE)" (January 1, 1984). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI8417297.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8417297

Share

COinS