Doctor or Doctress?

Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians

Laura Heath Hills scrapbook
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Laura Heath Hills scrapbook

Photographs showing Woman's Med students around the College.

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“I’ve finished the eye and I’m up on my ear”: A Female Medical Student’s Life

The students at Woman’s Medical College were encouraged to attend a four-year course in order to obtain their medical degrees. While it was possible to obtain a medical degree in just three years, Laura Heath Hills and some of her classmates opted for the four-year course, which allowed for a more thorough study of medical subjects as well as more time spent in clinics observing medical procedures. The women enrolled at Woman’s Medical College did not just sit through lectures – they also attended clinics at the Woman’s Hospital. Much like today, the College supplied its students with necessary technologies to learn their practice; tools such as microscopes, chemistry labs, mannequins, and medical supplies such as bandages. The students were also admitted to clinical lectures at the Pennsylvania, the German, and the Children’s Hospitals. Woman’s Medical College had a reading room for the students as well as a reference library. And although the College did not offer dormitories, the janitor kept a list of available boarding houses.

Although much has changed for a student since the 1890s, much has also stayed the same. Students still sit through lectures and take notes, go on field trips or participate in internships, and read and post news about their school, courses, or housing opportunities.

Creator: Evans, Alice; Hills, Laura Heath

Language: english

Item Number: p1766d; p4272; p4359

Physical Collection: Papers of Laura Heath Hills, M.D., 1892-1949, ACC-126

Finding Aid:

Link to OPAC Record:

Cite this source: Title of document, date. A Female Medical Student’s Life: I’ve finished the eye and I’m up on my ear. 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.

Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania--Students

Bulletin boards

Women medical students

Philadelphia (Pa.)