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"Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians" Exhibit Comes to Becker Library

Changing the Face of Medicine

Women doctors are the focus of a new traveling exhibition opening August 10 at the Bernard Becker Medical Library at Washington University School of Medicine. "Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians" tells the story of how American women who wanted to practice medicine have struggled over the past two centuries to gain access to medical education and to work in the medical specialty they chose. The exhibit, on display through September 18, features several prominent female physicians from the School of Medicine.

The National Library of Medicine and the American Library Association organized the exhibition with financial support from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health and the American Medical Women's Association. The traveling exhibit is based on a larger exhibition that was displayed at the National Library of Medicine from 2003-2005.

Becker Medical Library and the Academic Women's Network at Washington University School of Medicine are sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibit.

Opening Reception and Lecture   Panel Discussion
Thursday, August 13, 2009, 6-9 pm
Becker Medical Library Atrium
Thursday, September 3, 2009, 4:30-6 pm
Kenton King Center, 7th floor
Becker Medical Library
Ellen S. More, PhD
Head, Office of Medical History and Archives
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Massachusetts Medical School

The 17th Historia Medica Lecture, an Estelle Brodman Lecture

  Moderator: Walton O. Schalick III, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medical History
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Washington University Panel Members:
Jessie L. Ternberg, MD, Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Surgery

Patricia L. Cole, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine

Dayna S. Early, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine

Lisa M. Moscoso, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Refreshments will be served at both events. The exhibit and events are free and open to the public. For more information, please call (314) 362-7080.

Online Resources

Changing the Face of Medicine - Online Exhibition

Discover the many ways that women have influenced and enhanced the practice of medicine. The individuals featured here provide an intriguing glimpse of the broader community of women doctors who are making a difference. The National Library of Medicine is pleased to present this exhibition honoring the lives and accomplishments of these women in the hope of inspiring a new generation of medical pioneers.


Bernard Becker Medical Library Online Exhibits:

Beyond TLC: Missouri Women in the Health Science Professions - 2005

An exhibit celebrating the achievements and careers of women in Missouri who made an impact on the health science professions during the 20th century. Drawing principally upon the collections of the Becker Medical Library, the exhibit highlights the accomplishments of women who served pioneering roles in health science fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, and health administration.

We've Come a Long Way, Maybe: Some Pioneering Women in Medicine at Washington University - 2002

A tribute to the early women scientists and researchers at Washington University School of Medicine based on an exhibit designed and written by the Academic Women's Network of Washington University School of Medicine.

Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project - 2006

A series of recorded interviews and transcripts dating from 1959 providing first person accounts and reflections on the history of the medical school, medical practice in St. Louis, and developments in the field of medicine.

Interviews include:


Photos above (left to right):

  • Dr. Mary Edwards Walker - the first woman awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, for her work as a surgeon during the Civil War.
    Credit: National Library of Medicine, Images from the History of Medicine
  • S. Josephine Baker, M.D., Dr. P.H. - a prominent public health physician during the first half of the 20th century.
    Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-058326, ca. 1920
  • Dr. May Edward Chinn examining a young patient, 1930. Dr. Chinn graduated from medical school in 1926 and practiced medicine in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City for 50 years.
    Credit: George B. Davis, Ph.D.
  • Nina Starr Braunwald, M.D., M.S., shown in this 1960 photo, was one of the first women to train as a general surgeon at New York's Bellevue Hospital. A pioneer in the field of heart surgery, she led the team that was the first to implant a prosthetic heart valve, which she also designed.
    Credit: Eugene Braunwald, M.D.

"Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians" was developed by the Exhibition Program of the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition has been made possible by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health. The American Medical Women's Association provided additional support.

* Please note: Becker Briefs pages may contain links, email addresses or information about resources which are no longer current.