Lecture notes of Sarah Hibbbard, also includes a possible thesis draft. Beginning on page 31, Hibbard references the Jeering Episode of 1869, when a small group of students from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania went to the Pennsylvania Hospital amphitheater to attend a clinical lecture. Their attendance drew a strong response from the hundreds of male students in attendance, including jeering, and created a controversial debate about women's presence in clinical lectures. The Jeering Episode and ensuing debate were widely covered in regional newspapers.
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In the 19th century, medical students would attend classes called clinical lectures to learn about how to treat sick people. At a clinical lecture, a doctor and patient would appear onstage in an auditorium, and the doctor would show the student audience the patient's illness or injury, and demonstrate how to heal or fix it. The doctors would present patients with a range of illnesses from broken legs to pneumonia and everything in between. In 1869 Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP) was started in 1850 because most medical schools around the country would not accept female students. WMCP was the only medical school for women in Philadelphia, and for many years one of the only medical schools for women in the nation. Almost 20 years later, in 1869, the number of female medical students and female doctors was still very small compared the number of male medical student and doctors. On November 6, 1869, a group of about 20-30 female students from WMCP, went to the Pennsylvania Hospital amphitheater to attend a clinical lecture also attended by several hundred male medical students. Their attendance drew a strong response from the male students, including jeering, and created a controversial debate about women's presence in the clinical lectures. The Jeering incident and ensuing debate were widely covered in regional newspapers. This event came to be known among students, faculty, and alumnae of WMPC as the "The Jeering Episode."
Sarah Hibbard, an 1870 graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP), was one of the women medical students who attended a clinical lecture at Pennsylvania Hospital in November 1869 and was met with harassment and “jeering” by the hundreds of male medical students also in attendance. She writes about how the incident, and the public response to it, had a lasting, and perhaps unintended effect -- it made the women even more determined to pursue their studies, and caused the public to be sympathetic and supportive of the women's right to do so.
Creator: Hibbard, Sarah A
Item Number: a189_001
Physical Collection: Papers of Sarah A. Hibbard, M.D. n.d. (ACC-189), ACC-189
Finding Aid: archives.drexelmed.edu/collect/inventories/a133_inventory.pdf
Link to OPAC Record: http://innopac.library.drexel.edu/search/c?SEARCH=ACC-189
Cite this source: Title of document, date. Pioneers in the Face of Adversity: The Mob of ‘69. 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:1347
American Medical Association
Bodley, Rachel L., 1831-1888
Sex discrimination in medical education
Preston, Ann, 1813-1872
Women medical students
Women college administrators
Pennsylvania Hospital (Philadelphia, Pa)
Women's Medical College of Penn., Phila, PA