Women doctors are the focus of a traveling exhibition opening at the Falls Center (3300 Henry Ave., East Falls) on Oct. 6. ‘Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians’ tells the extraordinary story of how American women who wanted to practice medicine have struggled over the past two centuries to gain access to medical education and to work in the medical specialty of their choice.
Since the mid-1800s, when Elizabeth Blackwell became the first American woman to earn an M.D. degree, women have made enormous strides in every area of medicine and have achieved success in work once considered “unsuitable” for women. Women physicians are now found in every branch of medicine. They are researchers on the cutting edge of new medical discoveries, educators, surgeons, family practitioners, specialists and government officials.
‘Changing the Face of Medicine’ features the life stories of a rich diversity of women physicians from around the nation and highlights the broad range of medical specialties women are involved in today.
Drexel University College of Medicine has been supporting women in medicine for 160 years. Its predecessor institution, Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, was the first medical school for women in the world. “With Drexel University College of Medicine’s rich history of supporting women, we can’t think of a better place for ‘Changing the Face of Medicine’ to end its American tour,” said Joanne Murray, Director of The Legacy Center: Archives and Special Collections at Drexel University College of Medicine. “It’s also fitting for the exhibition to be held at the Falls Center, since that was the Woman’s Med and MCP campus for most of the 20th century.”
Drexel University College of Medicine’s Legacy Center and its vast historic collection on women in medicine was a significant resource for the researchers who planned and curated the exhibition. Some of the Center’s materials can be found online in its digital collection: http://xdl.drexelmed.edu/.
‘Changing the Face of Medicine’ opens in conjunction with Vision 2020: An American Conversation about Women and Leadership, hosted by Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. Vision 2020 is a 10-year project to advance equality and women’s leadership which kicks off with a national conference in Philadelphia on Oct. 21-22, 2010.
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