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MWIA November teaser: 1939 - 1948: Medical women in the Second World War and later

maandag 26 november 2018

1939 - 1948: Medical women in the Second World War and later

The third decade of MWIA’s 100-year history was important in many respects. It marked crucial events in world history and for medical women in Europe and North America in particular. The world witnessed the beginning of the Second World War in 1939. It was also the year the War Office in England agreed to appoint medical women with equal pay and allowance as medical men. The commissions were not granted immediately but it was a milestone for women doctors. By 1940, the Medical Register in Britain had 6300 women. Advances also happened in other parts of the world. In 1941, women were given temporary appointments by the Indian Medical Service. Two years later, Margaret Craighilll became the first female doctor to enter the US Military in 1943 (picture to the left). By 1944 due to sustained public pressure the government in Britain decided to allocate public funds only to universities that accepted a reasonable proportion of women. Similar trends followed in the US and in 1945 Harvard Medical School started to admit women. The picture below shows the first batch of women to be admitted in Harvard Medical School, 1945 In 1946, the British Medical Association council appointed the first women members. On the other hand, in Britain after the end of the war many medical universities closed doors for female students again.

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