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Pride, Prejudice and Paediatrics (Women paediatricians in England before 1950)

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  • Erratum

    Due to an editorial error the abstract was omitted from this article and the first paragraph of the text wrongly printed as the abstract thereby altering the sense and meaning of the first two paragraphs that are meant to be read together.

    To read the article in the form that the author intended we advise readers to refer to the revised pdf online rather than the printed issues.

    The correct abstract is as follows.

    The early women doctors who won the right to qualify in medicine are compared with the early women paediatricians in 20th century England. Both groups had to find their occupations in a male dominated profession by taking up work that was not met by men. Early women doctors founded their own hospitals and clinics and a similar pattern can be seen with women paediatricians who were in many parts of England, pioneers in the newly emerging speciality of paediatrics, neonatology and other disciplines within paediatrics. Barred from training at Great Ormond Street and in medicine in the major hospitals, women came to paediatrics through more varied routes than men. Their careers could not be planned but depended on chance, sacrifice, and often the opportunities that came through the wartime shortage of manpower. Male paediatricians were slow to accept women as equals and barred them from membership of the British Paediatric Association until 1945. Unlike the early women doctors the early women paediatricians were not as a group as politically active but the presence of a woman consultant paediatrician was itself a political statement and the work of women paediatricians gave a message to the wider world of medicine that was instrumental in destroying the male myth that women could not excel in medicine.

    Keywords: history of paediatrics; medical history; women doctors; women paediatricians

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