Though the preponderance of information is on American and British doctors, this does cover the world and mentions every region in which women have made any headway in medicine at all. The introductory chapter briefly traces woman's historical position as midwife and valuable assistant and her gradual exclusion from the field which became total when the ideas of gentility and general feminine ineptitude were at their height in the early 19th century. Then the women's emancipation movement helped clear a path to the shut doors of the medical schools. Sometimes, as in Philadelphia, special schools had to be opened for women alone; sometimes, as in Elizabeth Blackwell's freak attendance and graduation from Geneva, women were allowed to study with men. But at all costs the struggle was a hard one and is only now emerging from the swamps of tradition and the idea that ""God never intended"" women to work at something so close to the harsh realities of life. Enthusiastically, the book traces the social careers of various prominent women doctors at work in the eastern cities, the West and in 19th century Europe. Pointing to more modern endeavors, it also indicates a very natural connection between women as mothers and as doctors. But the volume is more important in the overall sense for page to page reading bogs down in the repetition and the close attention to policy and detail that will do little to inspire or stimulate general readers.