Celebrating Pioneering Women in Medicine: March is Women’s History Month!

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 3/16/17.

Happy Women’s History Month!! Although you don’t have to go far to run into a brilliant female medical student, faculty member, of staff member at the UCF College of Medicine, medical education was not always so. The first American woman to become a medical doctor (Elizabeth Blackwell), obtained her medical degree in 1849, but it has been a slow journey to the more diverse (though still imperfect) medical education system in the U.S. today.

In a previous post, In Celebration of Brilliant Women: March is Women’s History Month, I discussed the current state of the gender disparity in medical education: “Although it is clear that women have come a long way in American history, the glass ceiling seems to be alive and well in academic medicine. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, although nearly half of American medical students and medical residents are women (47% and 46%, respectively), only 16% of deans, 15% of department chairs, and 33% of senior associate/vice deans are women. As of 2014, only 22 out of the 141 deans of American medical schools were women.” Happily, the UCF College of Medicine is ahead of this national curve, and the numbers of women in academic medicine are slowly changing to match those of the larger medical profession.

We love celebrating and supporting the awesome female medical students, faculty, and staff studying at and employed by the UCF College of Medicine, as well as celebrating influential women in medicine throughout history. We’ve rounded up some of these female pioneers in medicine for your Women’s History Month reading pleasure:

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Paving the way: A Brief History of Black Pioneers in Medicine

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on February 18th, 2016.

Pursuing a career in medicine can be a challenging experience for anyone. For many aspiring Black doctors, these challenges were often associated with discrimination and a lack of opportunities to prove their worth, particularly in the early 19th and 20th centuries. Many barriers had to be torn down and doors opened before access to a quality medical education could be achieved for people of color. To celebrate Black History Month, we’re sharing with you a brief history of how these opportunities were built.

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Paving the way: A Brief History of Black Pioneers in Medicine

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on February 18th, 2016.

Pursuing a career in medicine can be a challenging experience for anyone. For many aspiring Black doctors, these challenges were often associated with discrimination and a lack of opportunities to prove their worth, particularly in the early 19th and 20th centuries. Many barriers had to be torn down and doors opened before access to a quality medical education could be achieved for people of color. To celebrate Black History Month, we’re sharing with you a brief history of how these opportunities were built.

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Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War

More than three million soldiers fought in the American Civil War from 1861-1865. More than half a million died, and almost as many were wounded but survived. Hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled by battlefield injuries or surgery. Although tragic, these injuries and the resulting medical needs revolutionized battlefield medicine, surgical amputations, and prosthetic technology. You can learn about the costs of the American Civil War, the advances in medicine that resulted, and the plight of the injured and disabled veterans at the Health Sciences Library with Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War, the traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine. Read on to learn some highlights from the exhibit plus other ways to dive deeper into this fascinating topic!

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Five disabled veterans of the American Civil War. Courtesy National Library of Medicine.

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Tech Talk Thursday: The Surprisingly Brief History of The Crutch

Tech Talk bannerIt’s probably safe to say that one of the only things more frustrating than injuring your lower limbs in some way is having to use crutches  after the fact as part of your recovery process. Often unwieldy and never described as comfortable, axillary and forearm crutches are one piece of medical tech that have been around for ages, but thanks to one company it looks like the device may finally be receiving a much needed upgrade.

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Come Pick Your Poison!

It’s hard to believe that not too long ago in our nation’s history it was illegal to manufacture, transport, import, export, or sell alcoholic beverages. Not much earlier, in the late 19th Century, American physicians recommended cocaine for treating hay fever and asthma, and ironically enough, as a cure for alcoholism and addiction to opiates. Things have certainly changed since those times!

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