Restoring the Balance: Women Physicians and the Profession of Medicine, 1850-1995

By Ellen S. More | Go to book overview
Save to active project

1
The Professionalism of Sarah Dolley, M.D.

I have often, while trying to develop my intellectual faculties, forgot-
ten, that to cultivate the moral faculties, was equally necessary, and by
this neglect, have lost much. I do think that perfection, will never be
personified, without physical, intellectual and moral cultivation; and
when the intellectual is cultivated at the expense of the physical or
moral, diere is a loss of that symmetry which was designed by nature.

Sarah Adamson (Dolley), February 3, 1850

THREE MONTHS after beginning medical school in Syracuse, New York, twenty-year-old Sarah Read Adamson wrote these lines to her cousin Elijah back home in Philadelphia.1 In 1851 she became the third woman in the United States to graduate from a chartered college of medicine. Adamson’s ideal of professionalism—the art of good judgment expressed as a balance of professional and moral values—animated the practices of most American physicians of the time. But in the long run, this professional (rather than scientific) ideal proved especially characteristic of women physicians, linking Sarah Dolley’s pioneer generation and its successors. As she wrote her son after nearly half a century in practice, “In all departures of health of body, mind, or spirit, I believe there is a loss of balance.”2 Dolley’s call for balance was both a literal reference to physiological systems and a metaphor for personal integration. Seeking balance for herself as a physician, a wife, a mother, and an active citizen of her community, Dolley forged a career that, from a late twentieth-century perspective, characterized the careers and life choices adopted by many of her successors. Increasingly, diis model has become an ideal for men as well as women.3

Long before her death in 1909 at the age of eighty, Dolley was acknowledged as one of the “eminent ones,” laden with honors and the

-13-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Restoring the Balance: Women Physicians and the Profession of Medicine, 1850-1995
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 340

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?