Punch,  54 (1868), 81.

Physicians of the Fair Sex



Letter, Spoof


Medical Practitioners, Gender, Periodicals, Education

    Responds to a Lady's Own Paper article on Elizabeth Garrett which includes a portrait and sketch of her medical career. The author recommends a career in medicine to 'young ladies disposed thereto, and capable thereof' and proceeds to attack 'the Apothecaries' for preventing women from taking their diploma. Ridicules the argument made by male medical doctors (Dr Prig and Dr Pumpwater) that 'the constitution of the female mind is not adapted to the cultivation of medical science', insisting that many women are 'quite as capable of routine practice as the average of medical men', and urging Mr Punch to tell the 'medical corporations' that they are 'afraid of female competition'. Draws attention to the fact that some women 'object to matrimonial servitude' and that those 'who have as much brain as heart would make first rate doctors'. Suggests the possibility that a medical lady 'might marry as well as practise' and 'go into double partnership with a medical gentleman'. Believes that while ladies' fortunes are often made from their face, they could gain a fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons. Concludes by asking Mr Punch to 'blow up the Council which presides over medical education' and to open the 'healing profession' to qualified women.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]