Women in Medicine

An Encyclopedia

by Laura Lynn Windsor


A medieval nun. A Filipina orphan. A sharecropper's daughter from the American South. They had little in common but a dream and the fortitude to realize it. Hildegarde of Bingen, Dr. Honoria Acosta Sison, and former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders are just three of the hundreds of entries in Women in Medicine: An Encyclopedia.

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Cover image for Women in Medicine

November 2002


Pages 259
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Health & Wellness/General
  • Hardcover



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    Hardcover: £67.00/73,00€/A$112.00

The definitive compilation of the inspiring and educational stories of women in medicine through the ages and around the world.

Women in Medicine: An Encyclopedia tells the hidden history of healing practitioners. Since ancient times, and in every human society, women have played a critical, if unheralded, role in the practice and progress of the medical arts and sciences. From the 11th century German nun Hildegarde of Bingen to early 20th century radiology pioneer Marie Curie to controversial Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, Women in Medicine portrays the struggles, the skills, the science, and the inspiring stories of more than 200 of history's great women physicians and medical researchers.

Not just a biographical compendium, Women in Medicine also includes entries on the key universities, institutes, and foundations of this illustrious history. Chock full of unique illustrations and complete with extensive bibliography and index, this one volume encyclopedia is the most comprehensive and accessible reference work on the history of women in medicine. A must buy for any library looking to round out its women's history or history of science reference shelf.


  • More than 250 A–Z entries focusing primarily on women pioneers and mentors in medicine, from Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first black female physician in the United States, to Flossie Wong-Staal, who codiscovered and cloned the HIV virus
  • Additional entries on organizations such as the Medical Women's International Association, the Media Act of 1858 and other legislative acts, and universities and institutions that have shaped the role of women in medicine
  • Over 60 photographs and portraits of key nurses, physicians and scientists, including Louise Bourgeois, Florence Nightingale, and Marie Curie
  • Extensive bibliography with websites listed wherever possible for easy access


  • Explores ongoing professional and social obstacles faced by women of color, primarily in specialist fields such as orthopedics
  • Brings to life inspiring stories like that of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to attend medical school and become a physician in the United States, and Angelique Coudray, King Louis XV commissioned to train midwives in France
  • Includes coverage of women outside North America and Western Europe such as Nawal el Saadawi, a physician and advocate of women's sexual rights in Arab cultures
  • Suggests through a profile of Nancy Dickey, the first woman president of the male-dominated American Medical Association, that more women can achieve leadership roles with administrative power
Author Info

Laura Lynn Windsor is a health sciences reference librarian at Ohio University, Athens, OH. She is a member of the American Library Association and the Medical Library Association.



"Women in Medicine is recommended for public, secondary-school, and college collections that need more coverage in this area."Booklist

"Nicely illustrated, this encyclopedia is both comprehensive and accessible . . . Highly recommended."Choice

"[P]rovides entries about numerous women who are not covered in readily available sources. Women in Medicine will be a valuable addition to high school, academic, and public libraries."American Reference Books Annual

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