“It's easy to wear out after a while, but I've been lucky. I'm 86 years old, but I'm still trying to make a difference. That's what counts in the end-that you keep on trying.”
“MOTHER OF THE FLORIDA STATE MEDICAL SCHOOL”
In 1944, when Charlotte Maguire earned her medical degree from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine, women were not just an anomaly in medicine-they were unwelcome. Medical schools routinely rejected women applicants for no other reason than gender.
One of the first women to enter the University of Arkansas Medical School, and the only woman in her class, Maguire remembers sneers, hurtful comments and sometimes, downright hostility from faculty members daunted by her venturing into the male bastion of medicine. "They were resentful," she recalls. "They didn't want to talk about male problems and illnesses in front on a woman."
That she persisted, shook off the negativity, graduated and returned to her native Orlando where she opened one of the state's first pediatric clinics in 1952, remains one of Maguire's proudest accomplishments-and she has had many in a long and rewarding career.
In 2000, some 60 years after leaving for Arkansas because her native Florida had no medical school, she became a driving force in the creation of the College of Medicine at Florida State University (FSU), and has remained an active and generous benefactor of the medical school. Her advocacy and passion for building a medical school at FSU has been matched by her generosity in donating some $2 million to the facility. Fittingly, she is often referred to as "the mother of Florida's medical school."
Maguire's lifetime dedication to caring for children and the underserved, as well as the focus and drive that led her to overcome prejudice against women physicians makes her a role model for today's young medical students. Nominated as a Local Legend by Rep Allen Boyd (D-FL-2), Maguire remains actively involved with students and has become an advocate for universal access to primary health care and quality of life for seniors.
It's the culmination of a distinguished career. In 1937 she was awarded a scholarship to study chemistry and physics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany-a path interrupted when her father ordered her home because of the impending war. In 1952 she became the first women president of the Florida Pediatric Society and in 1957 served as a delegate to the World Health Conference in London.
From 1980 to 1987, she was on the clinical staff in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida after an earlier stint (1971-74) during the Nixon Administration as Assistant Secretary of Health and Scientific Affairs in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Upon her return to Florida from her federal service, she helped to create the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and then served as the agency's medical.
A life member of the Florida and American medical associations and in 2002 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Florida State University (FSU).
Appointed member of the clinical staff in the Department of Pediatrics College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainsville
Becomes Residency Director, Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Family Practice Residency Program, Tallahassee
Advocate for the creation of the College of Medicine at Florida State University, Tallahassee
University of Arkansas College of Medicine