Features  |   May 2019
Women in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Author Affiliations
  • Dorothea S. Rosenberger, M.D., Ph.D.
    Committee on Critical Care Medicine
  • Kristina Goff, M.D.
    Committee on Critical Care Medicine
  • Loreta Grecu, M.D.
    Committee on Critical Care Medicine
  • Roshni Sreedharan, M.D.
    Committee on Critical Care Medicine
Article Information
Critical Care / Features
Features   |   May 2019
Women in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
ASA Monitor 5 2019, Vol.83, 26-29.
ASA Monitor 5 2019, Vol.83, 26-29.
Women have been in “healing professions” for thousands of years all around the globe, but access to the formal medical education available to men was not allowed until the late 20th century. Pioneer physician Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States in 1849. The British-born physician was famous for lecturing about the importance of helping girls gain access to higher education.1  By 1898, Isabella Herb (1863-1943) from Chicago and Mary Botsford (1865-1939) from San Francisco, two trailblazing female doctors, had established practices, calling themselves “anesthetists.” In 1909, Isabella Herb was appointed chief anesthetist at Presbyterian Hospital and Rush Medical College in Chicago. Dr. Herb was the first woman on the staff of Rush’s teaching hospital, and she was the first woman publishing in anesthesia in 1898. In 1922, Dr. Herb became president of the first nationwide anesthesia society, the American Association of Anesthetists.2 -4 
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