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A memoir written by Dr. Sister Alma (Helen) Lalinsky about her work as a medical missionary in Rawalpindi, India, in the 1930s and 1940s.

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“Why I Want to Go to Arabia”: Early Medical Missionaries in the Middle East

Sister Alma (Helen) Lalinsky graduated from Woman’s Medical College in 1935. In April 1938 she arrived at her first mission destination, Rawalpindi, North India (which is now part of Pakistan).  Very soon after her arrival she became Chief of staff at Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, and she held that position until October 1950.  After post-graduate study in the States, Lalinsky returned to India, where she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital, Mussoorie, India (in the Himalaya Mountains).  In 1953, she opened the Bombay Holy Family Hospital.  Lalinsky stayed in India for nearly 40 years as a medical missionary, and was the first nun in her order to become a medical missionary.

Like other medical missionaries, Lalinsky found the work enjoyable yet demanding.  In her memoir about the work at Holy Family Hospital, Lalinsky describes the challenges she faced as a medical missionary.

Creator: Lalinsky, Helen, Sister

Language: english

Item Number: a266_169a

Pages: 2

Size: 21.8X34.2;21.8X26.4

Physical Collection: Records of W/MCP: Registrar 1921-1975 (ACC-266), ACC-266

Finding Aid:

Link to OPAC Record:

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.

Lalinsky, Helen, Sister

Missionaries, Medical--Pakistan


" Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania -- Alumni and alumnae "

Rawalpindi (Pakistan)