Medical Women at War, 1914-1918.

TitleMedical Women at War, 1914-1918.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsLeneman, Leah
JournalMedical History
Date Published04/1994

Examines the experiences of British medical women in the war zone during World War I, their later careers, and whether their war experiences had any later effect on the position of women in medicine. The two founders of the first all-women unit were Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray; the second was founded by Mabel St. Clair Stobart, while in 1914 there was also a unit with women physicians in Belgium. After the fall of Belgium, the main destination for volunteer units was Serbia, and by far the largest all-women organization was the Scottish Women's Hospitals (SWH). The need for medical care was so urgent, however, that women could easily find work on their own initiative, and therefore gained experience that previously would have been inconceivable. Some worked for the War Office, and the experience of women in the field gave rise to a debate over their lack of uniform and rank. While these women blazed trails for others, few practiced as surgeons after the war and the profession was still regarded as a precarious one for women.

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