'The turning point in the whole struggle': the admission of women to the King and Queen’s College of Physicians in Ireland

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Abstract

In 1877, the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland made history by becoming the first institution in the United Kingdom to take advantage of the Enabling Act of 1876 and admit women to take its medical licences. However, in spite of the fact that the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland was crucial in the registration of early British women doctors in this period, there has, as yet, been little academic attention paid to the history of women in medicine in Ireland. This article traces the history of women's admission to Irish medical schools. Drawing on Irish printed sources, it explores the arguments for and against women in medicine that were propagated during the period. It also investigates the reasons for the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland's decision to admit women to take its licences, arguing that medical schools in Ireland had a more favourable attitude towards the admission of women than was the case in England.
LanguageEnglish
Pages97-125
Number of pages29
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date7 Dec 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Ireland
physician
license
history
medicine
Physicians
Turning Point
Admission
school
act
History

Keywords

  • Enabling Act of 1876
  • medical history
  • Irish medical school
  • King and Queen's College of Physicians
  • Sophia Jex-Blake
  • British women doctors

Cite this

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abstract = "In 1877, the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland made history by becoming the first institution in the United Kingdom to take advantage of the Enabling Act of 1876 and admit women to take its medical licences. However, in spite of the fact that the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland was crucial in the registration of early British women doctors in this period, there has, as yet, been little academic attention paid to the history of women in medicine in Ireland. This article traces the history of women's admission to Irish medical schools. Drawing on Irish printed sources, it explores the arguments for and against women in medicine that were propagated during the period. It also investigates the reasons for the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland's decision to admit women to take its licences, arguing that medical schools in Ireland had a more favourable attitude towards the admission of women than was the case in England.",
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