When first published in 1985, Sympathy and Science was hailed as a groundbreaking study of women in medicine. It remains the most comprehensive history of American women physicians available. Tracing the participation of women in the medical profession from the colonial period to the present, Regina Morantz-Sanchez examines women's roles as nurses, midwives, and practitioners of folk medicine in early America; recounts their successful struggles in the nineteenth century to enter medical schools and found their own institutions and organizations; and follows female physicians into the twentieth century, exploring their efforts to sustain significant and rewarding professional lives without sacrificing the other privileges and opportunities of womanhood.
In a new preface, the author surveys recent scholarship and comments on the changing world of women in medicine over the past two decades. Despite extraordinary advances, she concludes, women physicians continue to grapple with many of the issues that troubled their predecessors.