Introduction: As women entered the medical profession, they often concentrated on women's and children's health. This specialization was more acceptable than women treating men, but also women had a vested interest in the health of other women and children going back to women's traditional roles as midwives and family healers. As physicians, women thus continued their tradition of community medicine, performing healing work within the context of social and domestic relationships rather than treating patients and diseases as isolates. In this role, they combined their expertise as trained medical professionals and their cultural roles as moral authorities. In The Laws of Life, Elizabeth Blackwell instructs mothers on the importance of exercise in maintaining their children's health. The cartoon and satirical article "Physicians in Muslin" take Emily Blackwell's completion of the MD as an occasion to poke fun of female doctors. Although Punch was a British periodical, hostile attitudes toward women physicians were similar in the United States. In Doctor Zay, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, a professional novelist who championed women's entrance into a variety of professions, portrays her physician heroine as a mediator in her community's web of relationships and a promoter of women's and infants' health. She is observed through the eyes of her male patient, Waldo Yorke, who struggles to come to terms with her being a capable doctor who is also a woman.
African American women's commitment to improving abysmal healthcare for African Americans progressed after the Civil War with the establishment of Black medical colleges and professional organizations, as Darlene Clark Hine's essay explains. Yet while more women became doctors, midwives remained key providers of healthcare and education for mothers and children well into the twentieth century—especially in the south. In the photograph by E.S. Powell, nurse-midwife Maude Collen instructs new mothers in a nursery.
Students, singly or in small groups, write 1-2 paragraphs using their research findings, then post the segments in chronological order using an online learning system tool such as a wiki or a document-sharing program. Students identify information that still needs to be found, and compile a collective bibliography of their sources. Optionally, students can prepare annotations ( a sentence or two about each source) for each of their sources in the bibliography.