Doctor or Doctress?

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Dr. Lovejoy, Mr. Moffat, and Dr. Elliott at Macronissi.

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“Millions of refugees, almost totally without men”: The American Women’s Hospitals and the Fire of Smyrna

The years following the end of World War I were a time of great geographical and social change throughout the world, including Eastern Europe and Western Asia. In the war’s aftermath, the Ottoman Empire was dissolved and divided among the Allied Powers. In 1922, amidst this political, religious, and ethnic upheaval, the Turkish port city of Smyrna (now Izmir) was set ablaze, resulting in tens of thousands of people--mostly Greek and Armenian women and children--fleeing the destroyed city and gathering on the docks to board ships bound for Greece. These refugees ended up in living in outdoor camps on the tiny, barren Greek island of Macronissi (now called Makronisos), where there were no existing sources of shelter, food, water, or medical care. In 1922, the American Women’s Hospitals established services on Macronissi to care for the refugees from Smyrna. Dr. Mabel Elliott (b. 1881) was the Near East medical director for the American Women's Hospitals during and after the first World War, treating refugees and orphans throughout Turkey, Armenia and Greece. A physician from Portland, Oregon, Dr. Lovejoy one of the founders and first president of the Medical Women's International Association and director of American Women's Hospitals international relief organization from 1919-1967. She also campaigned for the right to vote at the state and national level and ran for U.S. Congress in 1920.

The refugees were badly in need of medical care, food, and shelter.  The women of AWH raised money and volunteered to travel abroad to provide medical services to devastated populations.

Creator: American Women's Hospitals

Language: english

Item Number: a144_189

Pages: 1

Size: 10.79 x 7.62

Physical Collection: Records of American Women`s Hospitals 1917-1982, ACC-144

Finding Aid:

Link to OPAC Record:

Cite this source: Title of document, date. The American Women’s Hospitals and the Fire of Smyrna: Millions of refugees, almost totally without men. 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.

American Women's Hospitals

Lovejoy, Esther Pohl, 1870-1967

Elliott, Mabel Evelyn, b. 1881

Missionaries, Medical--Turkey


Macronissi (Makronisos), Greece