Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Day of the Woman: Woman’s Medical College of Baltimore

In honor of International Women’s Day, I thought I’d write about the Woman’s Medical College of Baltimore. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there were seven medical schools in Baltimore, one of which was this short-lived school of medicine, which served a much-needed purpose in its day.

The school opened in 1882 with an ambitious curriculum and many well-known physicians as lecturers and teachers, as evidenced by this piece in the 1882 Maryland Medical Journal. womans college

There are some old images of the school, which looked to be quite handsome! As much as I have searched, and I admit, there are still a few places to look, I can’t come up with an address for the school. Silly me! All I needed was a quick email to the Health Sciences & Human Services Library at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Rich Behles gave me the answer in less than five minutes! The Woman’s Medical College of Baltimore was located at 126 N. Eutaw Street in Baltimore, just across from the historic Lexington Market.womens med college 2

Among the most well-known of the graduates of the Women’s Medical College is Claribel Cone, the famed art collector, whose collection is housed at the Baltimore Museum of Art.image

Claribel Cone at age 27.image

In the 1880’s, the Faculty changed the wording of the membership requirements from “gentlemen” to persons because of the number of women and African-Americans who were becoming physicians.

By the 1890’s, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine was up and running and as a condition for receiving a significant donation, they were required to accept women into the program, much to the chagrin of the men running the school. But they were over a barrel and did what they needed to do.

But after the Flexner Report was released, and the results became well-known, all but two of Baltimore’s medical schools gradually closed or merged with other schools. One of those schools was the Woman’s Medical College of Baltimore. Here’s Flexner’s report on the school:image

 In 1909, the decision was made to shutter the Woman’s Medical College, and this announcement appeared in the Medical Journal of that year. image

In looking at the Medical Journals, I also found this brief essay by Mary Putnam Jacobi, an early physician and suffragette. Jacobi


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