A book containing journal entries and correspondence about her experiences and work written by medical missionary, Dr. Clara Swain, upon her arrival in 1870 in Bareilly, India, and the 35 years following.
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Clara Swain graduated from Woman’s Medical College in 1869 and was the first graduate of Woman’s Med to become a medical missionary. She was the second woman who applied to Women's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church for a position as a missionary doctor and the first one to be accepted. The director of the girls’ orphanage of the Methodist Mission in Bareilly, India, had requested a female physician to aid the village. Swain accepted the position and arrived in Bareilly January 20, 1870. Swain believed it was important to train local women to help assist her with patients. She began teaching them lessons, spending two to three hours a day with her students, preparing them for the “examination of fourth-grade doctors,” supervised by two civil surgeons and an American physician. While there had been resistance to Western medicine (and religion) by some of the native people, the Methodist Mission was given a property on which to build medical facilities. In early 1872, Swain moved over to the new property, and by May 1873, a dispensary building was erected. By January 1874, the first in-house patients were treated at the new dispensary and hospital. The completed hospital, known as the Clara Swain Hospital, was the first hospital for women in India.
Clara Swain was the first medical missionary to be sent overseas, and although earlier missionaries had been sent – usually evangelists and teachers – she was the first formally trained doctor. Her experiences in performing medical work and teaching women interested in medicine in a foreign country are representative of what an early medical missionary’s life was like.
Creator: Swain, Clara A., 1834-1910
Contributor: Methodist Episcopal Church. Woman's Foreign Missionary Society
Publisher: James Pott & Compnay
Publisher Location: New York
Item Number: hq1413_s9_001_033-58
Size: 12.7 x 18.9cm
Physical Collection: A Glimpse of India: Being a collection of extracts from the letters of Dr. Clara A. Swain, ACC-HQ1431/S9
Link to OPAC Record: http://records.library.drexel.edu/record=b1304645~S9
Cite this source: Title of document, date. Early Medical Missionaries in the Middle East: Why I Want to Go to Arabia. Doctor or Doctress?: Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians. The Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives & Special Collections. Philadelphia, PA. Date of access. http://lcdc.library.drexel.edu/islandora/object/islandora:1862
Swain, Clara A., 1834-1910
Medical care -- India -- 19th century