Category: medicine

Maria Cuţarida-Crătunescu (1857-1919) was the first female doctor in
Romania. She was also the founder of the Maternal Society and of the first
creche in the country.

She trained to be
a doctor in Switzerland and France, graduating magna cum laude in 1884.
By 1891 she was the head of the gynecology department at the Filantropia
Hospital in Bucharest. A strong supporter of women’s rights, she presented her
study on the intellectual work of Romanian women at a 1900 Congress in Paris,
making the issue known across borders.

Gisela Januszewska (1867-1943) was an Austrian physician, known for her service during the
First World War and, later, for her social activism.

After
completing her medical degree at the University of Zurich, she volunteered in
the obstetrics department of the city’s hospital, and later went to Bosnia as
one of its first female physicians. She worked for better access to medical
care for Muslim Bosnian women, and during the First World War, she volunteered
to be part of the medical military corps. A victim of Nazi Germany’s racial
policy, she died in a concentration camp in 1943.

Ingeborg Hochmair (b. 1953) is an electrical engineer from Austria.
She helped create the first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant in
1977.

She was the first
woman to obtain a PhD with distinction in electrical engineering from the Technical
University of Vienna. She co-founded the medical device company MED-EL in the
eighties, and so helped create the modern hearing aid.

Sylvia Lawler (1922-1966) was a researcher in the field of human genetics. Her
research focused on leukaemia and trophoblastic disease.

She
was part of the first ever department for the study of human genetics, founded
at University College, London. She became the first female professor at the
Institute for Cancer Research in 1980. She later established the first national
fetal tissue bank in the UK.

Indira Nath (b. 1939) is an immunologist and pathologist from India. Her research focuses
on reaction and nerve damage in leprosy, as well as immune unresponsiveness.

She
specialised in immunology and worked for the Royal College of Surgeons and the
National Institute for Medical Research in London. Her research contributed
greatly to advancements in the understanding and treatment of leprosy.

Fiona Caldicott (b. 1941) was the first woman to serve as President
of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK, as well as its first female
Dean. She was also the Principal of Somerville College at Oxford University.

In 2014, she became
the first National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care in the country,
responsible for patient-identifying information within the NHS. She served as
the President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Catherine Calderwood
(b. 1968) is an obstetrician and
gynaecologist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has been the Chief Medical
Officer of Scotland since 2015.

After studying
medicine at the University of Glasgow, she worked for various hospitals and
eventually became the national clinical director for maternity and women’s
health within NHS England. She has also been the senior medical officer for
women’s and children’s health for the Scottish Government.

Ruby Bradley (1907-2002) was one of the most decorated women
in the history of the US military. She received over 34 medals and awards for
her service during World War II and the Korean War.

She served as a
surgical nurse from 1934. In 1943 she was captured as a POW in Manila, where she
provided medical aid for other prisoners and helped deliver 13 children. She later
served in the Korean War and was named Chief Nurse of the Eighth Army,
supervising over 500 other nurses.

Cicely Williams (1893-1992) was a Jamaican physician,
best known for her discovery of the severe malnutrition condition called
kwashiorkor, and her research in the field.

She was one of the first female graduates of Oxford
University, after which she started working in London hospitals. She was then
posted in present-day Ghana, where she was faced with ill and malnourished
infants, and where she undertook her pioneering research. Surviving a POW camp in
Singapore during WWII, she eventually became head of the new Maternal and Child
Health division of the WHO.

Fe Villanueva del Mundo (1911-2011) was the founder of the
first pediatric hospital in the Philippines. She gained international
recognition for her groundbreaking work in the field, during a career that
spanned more than eight decades.

She studied first in her hometown of Manila, then at Harvard Medical
School and Boston University School of Medicine. She returned to The Philippines
and was an International Red Cross Volunteer during World War II, after which
she established a private practice and taught at the Far Eastern University. She
was the first woman to be declared a National Scientist of the Philippines for
her pioneering work on infectious diseases and public health.