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Johns Hopkins and the Feminist Legacy: How a Group of Baltimore Women Shaped American Graduate Medical Education


The Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine are without a doubt one of the world’s greatest and premier medical establishments and historically the founding institutions of modern American medicine. Johns Hopkins is considered to be the first modern American research university; the birthplace of medical specialties such as neurosurgery, urology, pediatrics, endocrinology, cardiac surgery, and child psychiatry. Common medical traditions including wearing gloves during surgical procedures, “making rounds,” “bedside teaching,” “house staff,” “residents,” and “closed chest cardiac resuscitation” were all born at Hopkins. In a surprising twist of fate Johns Hopkins became ground zero and, initially, an unwilling partner in the late nineteenth century feminist battle for women’s equality.