This project was intended to be a small, highly focused study of the professionalization of women physicians in one region of the country, upstate New York, during the years between 1880 and 1920. It was inspired by my students’ persistent questions about women in medicine during an experimental seminar on the history of the American medical profession, given at the University of Rochester in 1978. Dr. Edward Atwater’s generous tip that the Edward G. Miner Library at the University of Rochester medical school held the extraordinary, forty-year correspondence of Dr. Sarah Dolley and her son sent me into the archives in Rochester and at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. (This was just the first of many acts of generosity by Ed and Ruth Atwater over the years, for which I am immensely grateful.) An unexpected telephone call from Dr. Leah Dickstein (whose New York accent made me nostalgic) to my office at the Institute for the Medical Humanities at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston resulted in an invitation from the American Medical Women’s Association to research the history of AMWA. At that point, my “focused” study began to expand. Regina Morantz-Sanchez, whose works have illuminated so much of our understanding of nineteenth-century American women physicians, read my original book prospectus and presciently advised me to expand my perspective and, particularly, to incorporate the history of African American women into my narrative—excellent advice.