Apparatus XY

Gender Praxes in the History of Chinese and Western Medicine

The Quiet Feminism of Dr. Florence Sabin: Helping Women Achieve in Science and Medicine.

by Patricia J.F. Rosof, St. Francis College[1]This research was made possible by a Library Resident Research Fellowship from the American Philosophical Society and a Margaret Storrs Grierson Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship from the Sophia Smith Collection. I would like to thank the staff of the APS and of the Sophia Smith Collection for their help and collegiality. I would also like to thank the archivists and librarians at the Rockefeller Archive Center, and the Alan Mason Chesney Archives, the Colorado Historical Society and the Denison Memorial Library of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

1 Florence Rena Sabin (1871-1953) began her medical career in 1900 with her graduation from Johns Hopkins Medical School. It was an auspicious time for a woman to begin a career in medicine in the United States. As Margaret Rossiter has pointed out, the period from 1880-1910, when Sabin was establishing her career, was an era when "new roles and opportunities were unfolding," only to be followed by a "new rigidity" (Women Scientists xvi). The century opened with great promise as women seemed to be gaining acceptance into the new medical schools and research institutes (Magner 456). Hopkins itself had opened its doors to both men and women in 1893 and it rapidly set the standard for medical education.

2 In many ways, Sabin would prove to be typical of her generation. As Penina Migdal Glazer and Miriam Slater note, the middle class, of which Sabin was a part, idealized "ambition, intelligence and hard work," and these were also the traits considered necessary for professional success (10). Friends, colleagues, former students all referred to Sabin's dedication to what at one point she referred to as "the Great God Work" (26 Aug. 1926 to Robert Cunningham, Cu-Doan #5, Cunningham, Robert S.#9, APS). Like her peers, Sabin believed in science as a meritocracy, and used the strategy of "superperformance" to prove her worth (Glazer and Slater 19). Choosing to make her career in medical research, Sabin benefited from scientists' commitment to the idea of the laboratory as "value-free" as well as by the newness of the field of laboratory research. With men uncertain about their ability to earn a living pursuing research, the field was initially accepting of women and more open than more established or lucrative professions to advancement based on merit. The Rockefeller Institute, as an example, had over sixteen percent of their hires in the years 1911-1920 as women (Glazer and Slater 18, 199, 138).

3 Under these favorable conditions, Sabin's career followed a positive arc. Taken under the wing of the respected Chairman of Anatomy at Johns Hopkins Medical, Dr. Franklin Paine Mall, she rose up the ranks to Associate Professor by his death in 1917. Although passed over for department chair in favor of her former student Dr. Lewis Weed, she nonetheless was promoted to Professor of Histology, the first woman to receive that rank at Hopkins. In 1925 she moved to the prestigious Rockefeller Institute as a full Member, again the first woman to receive that rank. She also served as first woman president of the American Association of Anatomists and was the first woman elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

4 Regardless of her personal success, however, Sabin proved unable to pave the way for further advances by other women. According to historian Ellen S. More, this failure can be explained by the "skewed sex ratio" of both Hopkins Medical and the Rockefeller Institute. With women under fifteen percent of the total, the successful ones were viewed as tokens and found themselves unable to shape the institution to benefit successors (7). As a researcher, and especially as a prominent woman whose work would be carefully scrutinized, Sabin had to concentrate on publishing and defending her results. Most men also had few opportunities to shape institutions but it was those who did, such as Simon Flexner at the Rockefeller Institute, and William Welch at Hopkins, who gained a lasting reputation and who determined the future shape of medicine (Glazer and Slater 136, 137). Sabin's inability to make institutional changes had repercussions for the women who followed.

5 Despite the odds against her, however, Sabin did seek to promote women's interests in medicine and scientific research. At the same time, she remained completely committed to the ideas of scientific objectivity and advancement by merit. She saw herself as a professional helping other women professionals achieve (Tuchman, 224).[2]Tuchman, explains that turn of the century professionals focused on "autonomous individuals joining together to protect their interests." Her goal was to get the best medical education for women so that they could fairly compete with men. This, she believed, had to be through the best coeducation available (4 Nov. 1931 to Martha Wager, U-We, APS). A committed feminist, Sabin believed strongly in the equality of women and rejected any idea of special need or privilege. In noting Simon Flexner's remarks at the luncheon in Sabin's honor on her receipt in 1929 of the Pictorial Review Achievement Award, she commented favorably on his "splendid speech" in which he described himself as a feminist who "believed in treating women exactly as he treated men with the same rigid requirements for high standards" (18 Dec. 1929 to Mary Sabin, Series I, Box 4, Folder 9, SSC). She had supported and worked for suffrage and contributed as well to the Philippine Campaign for Woman Suffrage (28 Dec. 1919 Sabin to Mrs. Mall on suffrage campaign, Sabin Papers, Box 1, 56, AMC and on Philippines Suffrage Campaign, 3 Feb. 1937 Carrie Chapman Catt to Sabin, National American Woman Suffrage, APS).[3]See for instance her description of working with Edith Hooker to send letters to all members of the Maryland legislature, 28 Dec. 1919 Sabin to Mrs. Mall, Sabin Papers, Box 1, 56, Alan Mason Chesney Archives, Baltimore MD.

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6Her support of the Equal Rights Amendment was consistent with her view of equality feminism. After hearing Frances Perkins speak, she commented that she could not agree "with her backing up the minimum wage laws for women only for I think that they will eliminate the women even more from a chance to earn a living" (26 March 1933 to Mrs. Mabel Mall, Box 2, 82-85, AMC). While she understood (although disagreed with) what was behind those like Perkins and the Federation of Women's Clubs who opposed the ERA, she felt that the broader group of opponents were those who sought to treat women as immature and unable to accept adult responsibilities. Sabin, on the contrary, believed "it better for all women to remove restrictions that are artificial and to permit women to find the level of their own abilities." Any distinctions in terms of special legislation should be based on wage levels not on sex (2 March 1938 to Cecelia Goodstein, Box G, APS).

7 Sabin took pride in women's achievements and did her best to help women in the field.[4]Among other activities, she supported Mary Beard in her endeavors to establish a World Center for Women's Archives. See World Center for Women's Archives, Box Wi-Z, APS. She gave advice to women who sought it, and worked to help them get fellowship and research funds, as well as opportunities for post-graduate training. She brought attention when possible both to the pioneers in medicine and women's education as well as to the younger talented researchers. Her goals were modest but real: help the women who entered science receive the best education available; enable them to do research and publish in top journals; get them fellowships; make their accomplishments known to a broader public so that women's achievements in science would be seen as a norm. She did not succeed in all of even these modest goals. The Depression doomed her plans for a women's Hospital which would have given women post-internship training, and few journalists followed up sufficiently on her attempts to bring other scientists to the public eye. The ones she regularly cited as being top in their field, such as Rebecca Lancefield of the Rockefeller Institute, still failed to be promoted to full Member. Sabin was aware of the ongoing challenges but also maintained optimism about women's position, having seen what she considered significant improvements in her lifetime. She remained committed to the importance of work and to access to the best education available for women.

The Problem

8 The problem for women began with admission to medical school itself. The twentieth century had opened with great possibilities. The Johns Hopkins University Medical School, funded in large part by a group of women in Baltimore on the terms that women receive the same admissions as men, opened in 1893 with three women (Walsh 176-77 and Rossiter Women Scientists 46). By the third entering class about one-third of the students of what was rapidly becoming the leading medical institution, were women. Also in 1893, the co-educational University of Michigan Medical School had a class of nineteen percent women (Walsh 182). In the early years of medical school professionalization, a four year program with clinical training was in itself unusual, and internships were not required for the practice of medicine. When Hopkins opened the initial fear was that too few qualified applicants would meet the stringent admissions criteria. However, as more individuals qualified for the demanding medical schools, women found themselves being intentionally limited in their admissions to the schools and to internships. Even Hopkins started to limit the number of women it would take. The Dean of the school, in response to a 1917 questionnaire, said that women should not make up more than one-fourth of the school, lest the men perceive it as feminized and decide to go elsewhere. Limited by admission quotas and shifting inclinations, women's attendance at medical schools declined in the early 1900s, returning to about five percent of the total in the late 1920s, where it held steady for the next few decades (Morantz-Sanchez 252, 234, 249).

9 Many respected schools, unlike Sabin's alma mater Johns Hopkins Medical which was legally required to accept women on the same basis as men, refused to accept women or applied severe quotas. In 1928 Sabin received a letter from a colleague suggesting a young man who was about to marry a medical student to work in Sabin's department at Rockefeller. He proposed that the man's future wife could finish her medical education at Cornell. Sabin was skeptical about the possibility noting that "since the number of women admitted to Cornell is probably limited, that might…fail" (7 Apr. 1928 to A.N. Richards, Box Richa-Ru, APS). Harvard, despite efforts on the part of women to change matters, continued to refuse to admit women until 1945. In 1918 Lois Kimball Matthews, the president of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, wrote to Sabin saying "The proposition is again brought forward…to open the Harvard Medical School to women…" and asked for a letter from her addressing the need for women physicians to be presented, with other such letters, to the medical school faculty, the President and Overseers of the Corporation of Harvard University (16 Jan. 1918 to Sabin, Box Mall, F.P. 2-Me, APS). In her response, Sabin noted that there had been for some years, "a demand for well trained women to fill positions in hospitals, especially in the hospitals for the insane; workers in clinical laboratories and physicians for womens (sic) colleges and large institutions." She went on to refer to the need for women in obstetrics, and due to the war, in civil hospitals and reconstruction work, concluding "With the necessary limitation in the number of students which can be trained in any one school, it will be increasingly important to increase the number of schools of the first rank which will admit women" (4 Feb. 1918 to Mrs. Matthews, Box Mall, F.P. 2-Me, APS). Harvard, unfortunately, remained unconvinced and it was not until 1943 that Sabin's friend George Wislocki could inform her that that at a recent meeting of the Faculty "it was voted almost unanimously to admit them [women]" while cautioning even then that "the faculty action must come before the Overseers and Corporation for their approval and assent" (5 Apr. Series II, Box 14, Folder 4, SSC). By the time Harvard finally decided to admit women, the numbers which did not do so were in a clear minority.

10A report on medical school admission policies issued by the American Medical Women's Association in 1939 noted that in 1936-37 nine schools in the U.S. and Canada were for men only, and there were a total of 1113 women medical students. In 1937-38 the number of coeducational schools rose to 78 from 67 with the all male schools declining by two, and the total of women medical students rose to 1161. However, another statistic was less promising: the percentage of women graduates remained the same (Women in Medicine, 1939, Series V, Box 28, Folder 3, SSC).

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11 In addition, while advanced education was expensive for both men and women, women faced particular hurdles. This problem was noted by men who supported women as well as by women themselves. Dr. Ned Park of Hopkins Hospital wrote to Sabin about a young woman for whom he was seeking fellowship aid:

She is one of the ablest women I have come across in medicine,…and is forced, literally to earn her daily bread as she goes along. She must work this summer in order to go on during the next school year. It strikes me that she presents all the reasons for the existence of the fellowships and the fact that she is a woman, and, therefore, has not got the earning capacity of a man is an additional reason. (25 Jan. 1930, Candidates #2, Box C-Cr, APS)

When the Rocky Mountain region of the American Association of University Women named a fellowship for Sabin, they noted in their pamphlet the real problem of too few fellowships, stating that one hundred thirty-one women had applied for nine available fellowships in 1930 (Series I, Box 4, Folder 3, SSC).

12 The Depression posed new problems as hiring declined in general while the problems of training women continued. James McDonald of the Foreign Policy Association cited these in a speech given in 1933 in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt. He acknowledged that most scientific societies admitted women but noted that the Association of American Physicians and the Society for Clinical Investigation still refused to. He also brought attention to Harvard's refusal to admit women and the fact that it was "virtually impossible for women doctors to obtain residency" (9 Feb. 1933 Esther G. Ogden to Sabin, Series V, Box 28, Folder 4, SSC).

13 During the Second World war, things became even more difficult as the government sought to train men for future military service. A former Hopkins man at the University of Oklahoma wrote to Sabin about a Miss Sue Browder, one of the most brilliant medical students he had met, who "because she is a woman we seem unable to consider her for our own loans; the entire emphasis at present is on the production of male doctors for future military service" (18 May 1942 C. F. DeGaris, Box Cu-Doan #5, APS).[5]Browder did eventually get money from the Kellogg Fund and an assistantship. As late as 1948 Walther F. Goebel was seeking information on fellowships beyond the AAUW for a talented lab technician, to continue for a Ph.D. (9 Sept. 1948 to Sabin, Series II, Box 11, Folder 1, SSC).

14 Perhaps even greater than the problem of being admitted to a good medical school, was the issue of education after graduation. There was originally no matching system for hospitals and internships, and women often found it difficult to get placement. As far back as 1901 a medical graduate, Emily Dunning Barringer, complained about the lack of post-graduate training available to women, and in 1916 the limited possibilities for internships were rued by Hopkins's student Martha May Eliot (Morantz-Sanchez 167, 165).[6]Sabin had landed an internship at Hopkins by being third in the class, joined by fourth-place Dorothy Reed.That same year, in a letter to Sabin on someone seeking training in obstetrics, the writer recommended an internship in gynecology first, noting that it was extremely difficult to get training in obstetric operation (16 Jan. Elizabeth Stowdon, Box Ste-Thomas, APS). At least by 1916, Sabin was able to respond to a similar inquiry concerning obstetrical surgery by a former student Louise Branscomb, with the names of three women surgeons (9 Nov. 1930 Branscomb to Sabin and 15 Nov. response, Box Be-Bu, APS). In 1923, Ned Park of the Yale University School of Medicine wrote to Sabin that they could not find a place for a recommended woman doctor since they were already taking one woman, who had graduated first in her class at P&S (26 Dec. Box O-Ree, APS). Sabin herself wrote to Ellen Finley in Baltimore in 1924 asking where their women graduates interned. The response included Presbyterian Hospital in New York for medicine, New Haven for medicine or pediatrics, Massachusetts General for pediatrics. Other possibilities included Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital, New England Infirmary for Women & Children, New York Infirmary for Women & Children, Rockefeller, Bellevue, University of California Medical School and Worcester Memorial Hospital (23 Jan. Box Doan Part 2-Fi, APS). It was a limited list, which would have been even shorter had the women's hospitals been eliminated. As late as 1936, a number of women at Boston University Medical School wrote to Sabin for advice on this problem. They explained in their letter that of the sixty-four New England accredited hospitals only seven would accept women. The excuse given by the hospitals was that they did not have accommodations for women, but the medical students did not find that credible since they were willing to live in the nurses' quarters (6 May 1936 Box U-W2, W#2, APS). The survey mentioned earlier by the American Medical Women's Association acknowledged the improvement in the internship situation for women but warned of the continuing problem with finding approved residencies (Women in medicine, 1939, SSC).

Career Advancement

15The problem existed at every point on the career path. In 1931 a University of Colorado Medical School graduate wrote to Sabin for advice on where to go for both good clinical and research experience. In her reply, after advising the graduate to look for someone whose work interested her, she warned that "it is relatively difficult for women to obtain positions … with adequate opportunities for research work in clinical medicine"(17 Jan. 1931 to Julia Cole, Box C-Cr, APS). Certainly some places and individuals were known to be more sympathetic to women and to research than others, and some individuals specifically sought out women. For example, Ernest Sachs of the Washington University School of Medicine wrote to Sabin about suggestions for a woman to work in his laboratory on the neuro-pathology of tumors. Sabin responded in support of Dorothy Anderson of Columbia as well as (an unidentified) Dr. Smith (11 April 1930 Sachs to Sabin and 17 April Sabin to Sachs, Box S-Smith, APS).[7]This was possibly Dr. Christianna Smith of Mt. Holyoke, who, Sabin feared, had too few funds for research. See paragraph 18. Similarly, Dr. Charles Austrian wrote to Sabin seeking a woman to replace Dr. Roxie Weber, who resigned as Director of the Clinical Laboratory at the Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. In her response, Sabin commented, "It pleases me very much that you are willing to give so good an opportunity to a woman" (30 May 1928 Austrian to Sabin and 31 May Sabin to Austrian, Box An-Ba, APS). An early haven proved to be the University of Arkansas Medical Department, where Margaret Hoskins happily found work. In 1922 she wrote to Sabin that she went from having worried about where she herself would find work the previous year to looking to find someone for the Department of Gross and Microscopic Anatomy. Commenting on the atmosphere there she said, "I can almost say that I am not hampered at all by my sex, and you know how rare that is!" (17 Apr. 1922, Home-Je, APS).

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16 In a letter to Ann Morgan of Mt. Holyoke, Sabin mentioned Professor Robert Bensley's Department of Anatomy at the University of Chicago as a place friendly to women, adding that "It is probably true that the universities in the middle west are more liberal toward women than the ones in the east" (18 Apr. 1932, Box Mi-Naples Table 1, APS). In advising Marion Hines, a talented researcher whom she mentored, on whether to leave Chicago for a position in China, Sabin warned, "In regard to the outlook in this country, it goes without saying that there are still and will be for some time fewer chances for a woman to move from one laboratory to another so that you would need to try to judge the opportunities in Chicago more carefully as a woman than if you were a man" (17 Oct. 1919, Box H-Hol, Hines, Marion #2, APS). Hines did stay at Chicago until an opportunity arose at Hopkins. Once again advising Hines when she was considering the move to Hopkins, Sabin wrote, "I do not think any prejudice against women would hinder your getting an associate professorship in a time that would be reasonable to you." However, she went on to add, "The outlook for women higher than that is the same here as elsewhere very difficult. There have been only a very few full professorships here and they are more honorary than otherwise. I think it will be a real struggle for a woman to get to be the head of a department in a fine medical school; you may make it" (23 Apr. 1925, Box H-Hol, APS).[8]Sabin herself had been passed over for department head and then was made a full professor of histology in compensation. Hines eventually moved to Emory University. She was also called upon to give advice to Helen Taussig who was concerned about her possibilities of promotion at Hopkins Medical and the lack of support for publication she was receiving from her mentor Dr. Park. Sabin reassured Taussig of Park's support for her, noting that "the adjustment in salary will come in the long run." On the other hand, when it came to publishing, she advised Taussig to present all her data to Dr. Park but that if he still hesitated, she should express her willingness to take on the responsibility of publishing herself (15 Apr. n.d. Taussig to Sabin, Sabin response 16 Apr. 1936, Ste-Thomas, APS).

17 As a researcher herself, Sabin was greatly concerned about the limited research opportunities for women. Women's colleges had fewer resources than men's and they were major employers of women. In 1929 Sabin wrote to support a research grant for Dr. Christianna Smith of Mt. Holyoke, noting that "the college has very limited funds which can be devoted to research. It seems to me so important to help those in the colleges who are eager to do research" (20 Nov. 1929 to Burton E. Livingston, Box Li-Mall, F.P. 1, APS). Nor did that situation improve with time. In 1941 Sabin wrote to a Smith College sophomore interested in research that "it seems to me that there are not as many chances to do research on the faculties of the women's Colleges as I think there should be. Your generation should see to it that there are more. In industry, opportunities are certainly expanding" (22 Apr. to Betty G. Davies, Box Cu-Doan #5, APS). This is one reason that Sabin was particularly excited when Margaret Washburn of Vassar was elected in 1931 to the National Academy of Sciences. She commented in a letter to her friend Mrs. Mabel Mall "I think that was a great thing for the women's colleges as showing that research can really be carried on in them if the person has enough force of character and enough interest. Vassar is now the most popular of the colleges it seems to me" (30 May 1931, Sabin Papers Box 2 , #73, AMC).

18 An article in 1937 in the New York Times confirmed the ongoing nature of the problem of too few resources. The author investigated why the members of women's colleges contributed relatively few scientific papers and found that men's colleges also had low rates due to institutional poverty. He noted that everything from a cyclotron to rats cost money and that the large teaching loads, committee and advising work made women's colleges primarily teaching institutions. Even Bryn Mawr, which had a graduate school and emphasized research, lacked the endowment to release its faculty from undergraduate teaching (11 Apr. "Women in Science," Series I, Box 1, Folder 4, SSC).

19 Coeducational medical schools, often the center of medical research, were hesitant to hire women (Morantz-Sanchez 160). The result was that even promising and eager researchers found themselves ill equipped to do their work, and often what work they did report was not accepted by the major journals. One individual for whom Sabin advocated was Jane Sands Robb, who was working at Syracuse. Sands had submitted two papers to the well-known Wistar Institute, but they required that she pay $200 out of her own pocket for illustrations, which she could not do. The result was that she submitted the work to the far less prestigious Woman's Medical Journal, which according to Sabin, "buries the work completely." Another time, Robb needed an electrocardiogram for her animal research, but had to take the animals over to Rochester since Syracuse lacked the equipment. Sabin sought to get her funds for equipment as well as to have her work presented to the Anatomists at their meeting (8 June 1934 Sabin to George L. Streeter, Box St.-Thomas, Streeter, George L. #2, APS and 8 June 1934 in George L. Streeter Correspondence, Sabin, Florence, Apr.-Jul. 1934, Box 37, Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Embryology, AMC).

20Even when women achieved research positions there was a problem with salary and advancement. Sarah Tower was a highly promising researcher at Johns Hopkins, who, due to the health needs of a son, felt she had to switch from neurology to psychiatry. In explaining her decision to Sabin, who had always supported and admired her work, Tower wrote that her salary was only $2200 after fourteen years (Christmas 1944, Howe, Mrs. Howard, Series II, Box 11, Folder 2, SSC). This was in 1944, yet as early as 1917, when she became a full professor, Sabin earned $2550 (Series I, Box 3, Folder 1, SSC). Furthermore, the more women achieved the fewer places were available to them should they want to move or advance further. Edna Tompkins and Sylvia Bensley both experienced this first hand. Bensley, who was the daughter-in-law of the well-known Dr. R.R. Bensley, was an Assistant Professor of Anatomy at the University of Chicago but was finding her opportunities there limited. Sabin made inquiries on her behalf and Bensley felt it beneficial for people to know she was looking for a new position. She wanted one which combined research and teaching but knew the opportunities were limited for "a woman of my age" (27 Nov. 1946, Series II, Box 9, Folder 4, SSC).[9]Bensley did eventually succeed in getting a position at the University of Toronto Department of Anatomy. See 24 Jan. 1952 Bensley to Sabin, Series II, Box 9, Folder 4, SSC.Edna Tompkins was a well-respected researcher working at Vanderbilt University. While happy with her work she wanted to move back to the Boston area for family reasons (12 Mar. 1942 Tompkins to Sabin, Series II, Box 14, Folder 2, SSC). She noted that "The higher you go, the fewer openings there are for you; and if you are a woman there are still fewer, since the highest are not open" (12 Feb. 1943, Series II, Box 14, Folder 2, SSC). Sabin wrote on her behalf to her friend George Wislocki at Harvard, who reported that he had made inquiries "about the possibility of inducting her into the Harvard hospitals or schools in some capacity" but nothing developed at that time (21 Mar. 1942 Series II, Box 13, Folder 11, SSC).[10]By 1947 Tompkins had made it East by accepting a position at the Yale University Lab of Applied Physiology and by 1951 she finally made it to Boston by affiliating with the Cancer Research Institute of the New England Deaconess Hospital although she had to switch her research to cancer from her preivous work on lipids. See 24 Nov. 1947 Tompkins to Sabin and 12 Jul. 1951 Tompkins to Sabin, Sabin Papers, Series II, Box 14, Folder 2, SSC.

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21Despite the challenges for women, which were well-known to Sabin, she did not support separate medical or professional organization. She did not enter into a public polemic on these matters; rather she expressed her sentiments in private letters but did not lend her prestige to separate women's organizations. She put her philosophy in writing when addressing the issues concerning medical education in China, although the same thinking applied in the States. According to Sabin "medical education is now too expensive to make the separate schools feasible." She believed that under the circumstances the best training would happen in the well-endowed coeducational schools and even though women could not expect an equal chance for a few generations, the emphasis had to be on proper training for those who did become physicians (17 May 1922 to Robert L. Dickinson, Box Cu-Doan #5, APS). Interestingly, according to Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, M. Carey Thomas had used similar arguments in advocating for a coeducational Johns Hopkins. She had noted that given the costliness of graduate work, graduate training could not be duplicated on a gender separate basis and that furthermore, students benefited from mingling with the best intellectual talents (235).

22 Sabin instinctively understood that in order to succeed women required the best education and access to the best mentors. This not only accorded with her ideas of meritocracy, but in fact, according to social scientist Jonathan Cole, is a necessary strategy for success, especially for women. According to Cole, those going to the top programs gain access to the most influential mentors, and the best research facilities. He notes that the rank of a "doctoral department is the second strongest predictor of visibility and perceived quality among women…" (139). Certainly, getting the best education available had worked for Sabin and for her illustrious predecessors. Working at the Hopkins Anatomy laboratory, she was mentored by one of the leading men in the field. This gave her access to the American Association of Anatomists, which she eventually presided over, and to the leading Journal of Experimental Medicine, which began at Hopkins and then moved to the Rockefeller Institute (Corner, 62-63). It was also at Hopkins that she met Simon Flexner who would become the Director of the Rockefeller Institute and invite her to move there. Margaret Rossiter makes clear the Hopkins influence in getting Sabin elected to the National Academy of Sciences ("Florence Sabin," 486). Sabin's attitude toward co-educational medical school did not apply to women's colleges, which she continued to support, giving special attention to her alma mater Smith and to Bryn Mawr.

23 Sabin remained consistent in this belief. When Catherine Macfarlane of the Medical Women's National Association sought Sabin's help in raising an endowment for the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1936, Sabin wrote back that she could not lend her name to the committee because "I find myself skeptical as to the necessity and wisdom of maintaining a medical school by and for women at this time" (22 Sep. 1936, Box Li-Mall, F.P. 1, APS). Similarly, she believed that women's only medical associations were limiting. As indicated earlier, her experience was that papers submitted to their journals were ignored by the larger medical community, and she found the papers presented at their meetings inferior to those presented at the established medical associations open to men and women (9 Sep. 1935 Sabin to Kate Campbell Mead, Box Mall. F.P. 2-Me, APS). When asked by the president of the Medical and Dental & Allied Science Women's Association to supply materials on maternal hygiene for a Hall of Science Booth in 1933, Sabin complied but expressed her concern about a special women's exhibit. She noted that "Since being in New York and working a little with the clinical group here, I have found that the younger and the abler women in clinical medicine do not want separate societies and separate organizations and I believe that the day is happily gone by when there is any advantage to women in such separation" (1 Apr. to Bertha Van Hoosen Box U-We, APS).


24 Given the difficulties in finding places to train and hire qualified physicians, Sabin did support the formation of a women's hospital and actively worked on its behalf. Named the Gotham, Sabin believed that it would not only help women find positions and further professional training, but that it would also provide good health care for the middle classes. While in the end, the plan failed due to the Depression, it was not for lack of effort and commitment on Sabin's part. Indeed, this cause was of such importance to her that she spoke of it in her 1931 interview with Good Housekeeping, when named one of America's most distinguished women. Suggesting that hospitals like colleges be endowed, she went on explicitly to explain the Gotham Hospital Plan, "in which a fund will make up the difference between what the patient can afford to pay and what the hospital actually costs" (Jun. "Dr. Florence Rena Sabin," 202 in 450 SA13, Box 1, RAC).

25The Gotham Plan arose out of concern for the closing of the New York Infirmary, one of the hospitals noted above which accepted women for internships and staff positions. In 1927 M. Carey Thomas expressed her dismay in a letter to Sabin, deploring that the Trustees would turn over the Infirmary to a medical center "without provision that women surgeons should be given the first chance to operate there. When I think of the great difficulty involving tremendous sacrifice with which the money for this Hospital was raised, it seems to me nothing short of a betrayal of the dead women who agonized for it that special privileges should not have been preserved for women" (1 Apr. 1927, Box Naples Table 2-National Travel, Naples Table Correspondence 1927 #1, APS). Sabin wrote a long letter in response, in which she reviewed the history of the New York Infirmary and the funds attached to it. The outcome, with the women physicians of the New York Infirmary joining with the New York Women's Medical Association, was that the Infirmary would remain open for one extra year while plans for a new hospital were drawn up, with the hospital to receive the funds of the Infirmary. While Sabin noted that the plan did not have unanimous support, the majority seemed enthusiastic. Interestingly, given the issues noted above on internships and further specialized training, Sabin explained that the young women graduates of the top medical schools believed that the coeducational schools now provided sufficient training in medicine and surgery and that internship opportunities were sufficient. On the other hand, they did not see residencies and surgical training opportunities as being sufficient for a long time; hence the need for a separate women's hospital (6 Apr. 1927, Naples Table Correspondence 1927 #1, APS).

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26The financial plan was to raise funds through a campaign for $5.00 contributions from a large group to be followed by an endowment campaign. From the beginning the new hospital was to have a dual purpose: "an opportunity for training for women, and...a chance to study the problem of hospital care for people of moderate means" (6 Apr. 1927 Sabin to Thomas, Naples Table Correspondence 1927 #1, APS). Sabin began working on this even before Thomas's letter. In January 1926 she wrote to her sister Mary that she had been asked to go on the Board of a women's hospital, and that the hope was that they would raise $5,000,000 for a building. At that point she was still hesitant due to her work obligations (12 Jan. 1926, Series II, Box 6, Folder 11, SSC). Nonetheless, she enthusiastically took up the cause. In 1928 Dr. Elsie Seelye Pratt was slated to discuss the Gotham Plan at the meeting of the American Association of University Women and asked Sabin to send whatever materials she could including subscription cards.(5 Feb. Series II, Box 12, Folder 9, SSC). Also in 1928 Sabin sent a plan to G. Canby Robinson of Vanderbilt for his reaction and mentioned that her group had sent a woman to a hospital in Boston to study their laboratories (9 May and 4 Jun. Box Richa-Ru, APS).

27 The plan for Gotham Hospital paid specific homage to the Blackwell sisters for their founding and work with the New York Infirmary and spoke directly of the need for an endowment to lower costs to patients, the costs themselves being determined by a uniform cost for procedures and a reasonable maximum fee for physicians and surgeons. At the same time, it promised the "hospital will give medical women, both physicians and surgeons a chance to practice" (The Gotham Hospital, Box G, Gotham Hospital #2. APS). This point was reiterated in an April 1, 1930 letter Sabin sent to Waldo Hutchins, Jr. in which she noted that a proportion of positions in the hospital would be set aside for women "until such time as women have a fair opportunity for hospital training in proportion to their numbers in the profession" (Box G, Gotham Hospital #2, APS). In March 1929 invitations were sent out to prominent women physicians to join a laboratory committee to determine what would be necessary for the hospital. A Special Gifts Committee was also formed (Gotham Hospital #2, Box G, APS). Consideration was given to a medical school affiliation as well. Sabin was enthusiastic about the possibilities noting that "Dr. Goldwater who is regarded as the best hospital expert in New York says ours is the only plan that will work for people of moderate means," and adding "Cornell has decided to copy our nursing plan so I think that one can say that the women have already made a contribution to the vexed question of hospitals" (18 Apr. 1929 Sabin to Ella Strong Denison, Series II, Box 10, Folder 3, SSC). By 1930, enough money had been raised to buy a plot at Central Park West between 107th and 108th Streets. The General Campaign was being chaired by Mr. Matthew Sloan, who was president of the New York Edison Company, while the large gifts committee had the President of the Pennsylvania Railroad at its head (1 Apr. Sabin to Hutchins Jr., Gotham Hospital #2, Box G, APS). The Board of Directors included other women physicians besides Sabin such as Louise Pearce and Addisone Boyce and was chaired by Henry Bruere (The Gotham Hospital Campaign, Gotham Hospital #2, Box G, APS).

28 The campaign and booklet explaining it, "New York Leads a New Hospital Movement," garnered interest from others who wished to do something similar, but by September 1930 the Depression was already taking its toll (5 Apr. 1930 Edward H. Watson to Sabin, Gotham Hospital #1, Box G, APS). In response to a letter expressing interest in offering women of limited means semiprivate or private hospital beds, Sabin addressed the financial situation. Despite having bought the land and begun their campaign, "our advisors have urged us not to press the drive until the financial condition of the country is on the upgrade. Under the circumstances you might well prefer to endow a bed in a hospital which is already running" (12 Sep. 1930 Sabin to Rickey in response to 10 Sep., Gotham Hospital #1, Box G, APS). By March 1932 Sabin had to write to Susanne Parsons, a Hopkins graduate to whom she had first written about the plans for the Gotham Hospital as early as 1928, that "the plans for the Gotham Hospital are wholly in abeyance and even may not be revived after the depression" (24 Mar. and 30 May 1928, Box O-Ree, APS). Sadly, it never was revived and in 1943 the Board of the Gotham Hospital dissolved its Corporation and applied any remaining funds to the William Booth Memorial Home and Hospital (2 Apr. Henry Bruere to Sabin, Series II, Box 15, Folder 7, SSC).

29 Despite the disappointing end to the Gotham Hospital Plan, Sabin did not give up on fundraising to help women even during the difficult Depression years. In particular, she began a campaign to endow a fellowship at Bryn Mawr in honor of the great mathematician Emmy Noether, who found refuge at that school when forced out of her university position and out of the country by Nazi Germany. Unfortunately Noether died in May 1935 after finding refuge in the United States (4 May 1935 Letter to Editor New York Times and 1 May 1936 letter, Noether, Emily Memorial Fund A, Box No, APS). Shortly thereafter, Sabin began her campaign to establish an endowment, seeking the help of both Abraham and Simon Flexner. Simon Flexner urged Sabin to have Mrs. Ella Denison as a donor since her name was well-known due to the Denison Fellowship in support of scientific research (24 Oct. 1935 Noether, Emily, Memorial Fund, F, Box No, APS). Abraham Flexner tried to use his influence at the Institute for Advanced Study to get men on the committee but found they were too involved at the moment with the problems arising with scientists in Germany. He urged her to stay with the original plan of having a committee of women (17 Jan. 1936, Noether, Emily, Memorial Fund F, Box No, APS). Nonetheless, the Honorary Committee had the top men in mathematics including Oswald Veblen, and Albert Einstein from the Institute for Advanced Science. Einstein had described Noether "as the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began," and Sabin considered his endorsement of particular significance ("Women in Professions," Abstracts, Unpublished Papers #4, Box A-An, APS).

30She consistently reiterated two goals in establishing the fellowship: to honor a woman of unquestionable attainment and to serve as a protest to the racist policies of Nazi Germany (18 Jan. 1936 Sabin to Mrs. Felix Fuld, Noether, Emily, Memorial Fund, F., Box No, APS and 26 Mar. 1936 to Mrs. Backer in Noether, Emily, Memorial Fund B). These goals were expressed in personal appeals sent to women from whom she sought contributions. The original goal was to raise $25,000 so that the interest could be used for a scholarship for students in advanced mathematics, although under the urging of Simon Flexner and President Marion Park of Bryn Mawr, that goal was later decreased to $10,000. By November 1936 that goal had been reached, a particularly impressive achievement given the short time frame, the economic difficulties of the era, and the many other appeals being made on behalf of scientists and intellectuals fleeing Nazi Germany (8 May 1936 Sabin to Elizabeth Arden, Noether, Emily, Memorial Fund A; 20 Nov. 1936 Sabin to Mrs. Agnes Leach, Noether, Emily, Memorial Fund, L, Box No, APS). In her letter of thanks upon being informed that the goal had been reached, Pres. Park of Bryn Mawr noted that the idea had been Sabin's, saying as well "for the tremendous amount of work which you have put in, I cannot thank you enough" (21 Nov. 1936 Series II, Box 12, Folder 9, SSC).[11]Interestingly, the <em>New York Herald Tribune</em> article of March 21 1936 reporting on "An Emmy Noether Memorial" quotes Simon Flexner writing on behalf of the plan but only mentions Sabin as the person to whom checks should be sent, Series II, Box 12, Folder 7, SSC.

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31Sabin herself had benefited from fellowships and awards at crucial periods in her life, and when she had become established, she helped administer fellowships for others. The financial support for Sabin began immediately after her internship when the Baltimore Association for the Advancement of University Education for Women arranged for a special fellowship for her in the Department of Anatomy at Hopkins Medical so that she could continue the research she had begun under her mentor, Dr. Franklin Paine Mall (McMaster and Heidelberger, 277). Sabin later joined the Association and supported the application of a fellowship to Helen Connet to work in physiology at University College London in 1920-21 (24 Jan. 1920, Women's Association [Misc] Box Wi-Z, APS). The year following Sabin's fellowship, she received a prize in the significant sum of $1000 from the Naples Table Association for her research on the Origin of the Lymphatic System (Richards, Ellen, Research Prize, Box Richa-Ru, APS). Ellen Richards headed the prize committee and after her death the prize came to be named for her. Sabin was the first recipient of this prize, established for recognizing "laboratory research involving experimental work, leading to new conclusions by new methods" (28 Mar. 1928 Lilian Welsh to Sabin summarizing the history, Naples Table Correspondence 1928 #2, Box Naples Table 2-National Travel, APS). Between its beginnings and 1924, thirteen prizes were awarded, in addition to a special one for Marie Curie in 1921, which Sabin presented at Carnegie Hall (Naples Table Correspondence 1928 #2, APS and Naples Table-Gen. Committee Minutes #2, Box Naples Table 2-National Travel, APS).

32 In 1915, Sabin herself received notice from M. Carey Thomas that she had been appointed to the Naples Table Association as the representative of the women of the Johns Hopkins University Medical School (16. Oct. Naples Table Correspondence, 1919, Box Mi-Naples Table 1, APS). The Naples Table Association went back to 1898, and existed in order to support the work of women scientists there. Since the organization at times had more money than they needed to support the Table, they established the Richards Prize. Sabin, therefore, was involved with both the Table and the Prize.

33 By the late 1920s, the format of the prize changed from one granted based on submitted research papers, to one presented in recognition of women of scientific renown. Among the recipients of the award in its later form were Prof. Lise Meitner of Berlin and Prof. Ramart-Lucas of Paris for physics and chemistry. The justification for this change according to Sabin was two-fold: there were a number of research fellowships available for women beginning their careers in research, and perhaps awards such as these would help women gain the necessary recognition to achieve positions as full professors and department directors (1 Nov. 1927 Sabin to Robert S. Cunningham on planned reorganization, Cunningham #8, Box Cu-Doan #5, and 29 Oct. 1929 Sabin to Dr. Hague, Naples Table Correspondence 1929, Box Naples Table 2-National Travel, APS). The change demonstrated what the committee members saw by this time as the greater need to help those established in their careers to gain more recognition, status and institutional power. Meanwhile the Association continued to fund scientists to work at the Zoological Station at Naples until 1932, when the organization disbanded with the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the objects for which this Association has worked for thirty-five years have now been achieved since women are given opportunities to engage in scientific research on an equality with men, and to gain recognition for their achievements, be it RESOLVED, that the Association cease to exist after the adjournment of this meeting. (30 Apr. Naples Table Application 1932 #1, Box Mi-Naples Table 1, APS)

While the resolution might have been overly optimistic in its assessment, given that Sabin herself had elsewhere recognized the ongoing challenges for women researchers, the women of the Association clearly felt that significant gains had been made.

34 There were three other fellowships in which Sabin was heavily involved. One was established by her friend Mrs. Denison in memory of her son Henry Strong Denison. The fellowship was meant to support promising research students. While the Board was run by Mrs. Denison's two daughters, Sabin had the responsibility of recommending promising students to the Board. Although the awards were not specifically for either sex, women scientists received equal consideration and the main factor influencing the awarding of a grant appears to have been the school one attended. The Foundation was established in 1924, and within its first ten years of existence twenty of the seventy-three recipients were women (Henry Strong Denison Medical Foundation #2, Box H-Hol, APS). In 1927 Sabin noted that twelve students had received the grants, with three out of four of the Hopkins recipients women, as well as another woman in Chicago (6 May to Robert Cunningham, Box Cu-Doan #5, APS). Nonetheless, Sabin was fearful that her 10 year report to the Board showed that proportionally more women than men recipients had dropped out of research and there might therefore be more difficulty in gaining such awards for women in the future (1 Mar. 1934 Sabin to Robert Cunningham, Denison Memorial Library).

35Similarly as a member of the Guggenheim Foundation, while Sabin never advocated for a woman specifically as a woman, she made certain that they would receive proper consideration. Among the grateful recipients was the scientist Florence Seibert. Seibert had come to know Sabin when they both attended National Tuberculosis Association meetings and were often the only women there. She would visit Sabin at Rockefeller to discuss work. At one of these visits Seibert confided to Sabin that she had intended to apply for a Guggenheim fellowship but that her mentor who had been encouraging the application had died. Sabin was now on the Guggenheim Board and encouraged Seibert to continue with her application since Sabin herself could attest to the value of her work (19 Sep. 1955 Siebert to Bluemel, Series I, Folder 3, SSC). Upon receiving her fellowship to study in Sweden, Seibert wrote Sabin "I must tell you how much I appreciate your efforts and success in obtaining the fellowship for me" (20 Mar.1937, Seibert Florence #2, Box S-Smith, APS). The story is significant for indicating what could be accomplished by a woman in a prominent position and, by implication, how the scarcity of such women had broader implications.

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36The third fellowship was for cancer research. The Finney Howell Research Foundation was established for ten years by Dr. George Walker upon his death in honor of his friends Dr. Finney and Dr. Howell, who were appointed to the Board of Directors along with 13 others including Sabin. Upon the deaths of Finney and Howell, Sabin served as President, with the Foundation providing grants from 1938-1947. Many of the recipients were women and in some years exclusively women (Series IV, Box 22, Folder 5, SSC). Again, there is no evidence that the sex of the individual was considered but it is clear that women received equal consideration with men and that Sabin's presence and leadership on the Board must have ensured this equity.

Spreading the Word

37 Finally, Sabin did her best, as she became a senior scientist recognized nationwide, to advocate on behalf of her younger colleagues. As noted above, with the Noether Fellowship and the later Richards prizes, Sabin considered it important for the future of women in science to gain recognition for women's achievements. She accepted her own recognition in that spirit, but felt the awards and honors should be more widely shared. In 1936 she received a note from Dr. Anna Colman of Radcliffe asking about women in science, and listing some she knew. Sabin wrote back an extensive reply providing 28 names with institutional affiliations for the areas of anatomy, biology, pathology, bacteriology, biochemistry, physiology, public health, and medicine (20 May Box H-Hol, APS). When Sabin was introduced to Jeanne Duplaix, who was writing an article on Women in Science for a journal called Revue, she suggested the names of Dr. Florence Seibert, Dr. Rebecca Lancefield, Dr. Sarah Tower, and Dr. Marion Hines, but objected to Duplaix's grouping so many women who worked in medical schools into zoology. She noted that she suspected that "there are more women doing research in medical schools than in all the scientific departments of universities put together" (3 May 1937 Box Doan, part 2-Fi, APS). The names of Sarah Tower and Marion Hines of Johns Hopkins Medical and Rebecca Lancefield of Rockefeller were once again put forth by Sabin for an article by Collier's Magazine on women in science. The suggestions to Irene Kuhn of the magazine came after Sabin had been contacted concerning a story on her work and background. She had written in response, that

my work has already received more publicity than it deserves…. If our recent studies had involved some spectacular discovery in which the public would really be interested, it would be quite a different matter,…Besides this point, I feel that the time has come when it is much more important to emphasize the work of some of the younger women in medicine." (30 Dec. 1937, 12 Jan. 1938 Bo Jo-Le, APS)

In 1936, when Sabin agreed to give a talk on "Some representative women in scientific research," to the College Club and Harvard Medical Society, she indicated that she would discuss the work of Doctors Rebecca Lancefield and Clara Lynch, in addition to talking a bit about the woman she labeled "the most wonderful woman scientist of our time," Emmy Noether (2 Apr. and May to Madelaine R. Brown, Box Be-Bu, APS). Finally, in 1940, in response to a letter from Carrie Chapman Catt, in which Catt notified Sabin that the Woman's Centennial Congress would devote its second night to women's career gains with ten women doctors to be recognized, Sabin again mentioned Drs. Lancefield, Lynch, Hines and Tower, along with Dr. Florence Seibert and Dr. Louise Pearce. She commented: "The thing that makes me most happy about the outlook for women in medicine is that there is now a group of younger women doing distinguished medical research….I take great pleasure and pride in their work" (15 Nov. Box C-Cr, APS).

38 Just as she advocated for the younger women coming up after her, Sabin gratefully publicly recognized those who had preceded her. In accepting an honorary degree from Syracuse University, on the hundredth anniversary of the founding of Geneva Medical College, she noted that "I shall esteem it a very great honor to have a degree from the institution that gave Elizabeth Blackwell her opportunity to study medicine," and reiterated the point in a letter after the commencement (28 Apr., 15 Jun. to Charles Flint, Box Fl-Fu, APS).

39 Her gratitude to her predecessors, and her desire to make their work known, was shown even more keenly in the acceptance speech she gave upon receiving the M. Carey Thomas Prize from Bryn Mawr, in which she noted that "there is distinction to an honor which bears the name of M. Carey Thomas." Asking why a Bryn Mawr honor touched "so deep a sense of gratification," she answered with the importance of the school for scholarship and for women. She commented on the important role of science at Bryn Mawr, made possible by Thomas's creation of a graduate school which allowed for research and scholarship, particularly citing the work in genetics of Netty Stevens, credited by Edmund Wilson, another member of the Bryn Mawr faculty. In addition, she praised Thomas for establishing the conditions required for admission to the new Johns Hopkins Medical School: "a college degree or its equivalent, a knowledge of physics, chemistry, and biology, proficiency in modern languages, and admission of women on the same terms as men." This, Sabin asserted, opened to women "every single opportunity for advanced work in medicine which they have had since." Finally, Sabin concluded by discussing three leading women of science: Marie Curie, Emmy Noether, and Agnes Pockels, who, working on her own time in nineteenth-century Germany, studied the effect of salts in solution and developed an instrument for measuring surface tension as well as a method for getting exact dilutions. According to Sabin, the little-known Pockels was one of the founders of physical chemistry (2 Nov. 1935, Acceptance Speech, Thomas, M. Carey Prize #1, Box Ste-Thomas, APS).

40She was equally aware of how Drs. Mary Sherwood and Lilian Welsh had smoothed the path for her and others, and spoke of this in her written appreciation of Dr. Sherwood upon her death. Both women had studied in Zurich, and, in accordance with Sabin's philosophy that women had to receive the best medical education, she notes approvingly that "It showed sound judgment on her [Sherwood's] part to get such a medical training." When Welsh returned to the states she came with an introduction to the men at Hopkins Hospital from her professors there. She was welcomed into Dr. Welch's laboratory at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was supposed to have a residency under Dr. Osler, which fell through due to the ironic reason that it was dependent on another woman accepting as well. Nonetheless, she did work with Dr. Kelly there and collaborated with him on a paper. According to Sabin, the friendship and admiration which Sherwood and Welsh had gained from these doctors eased the way for the pioneering women at the medical school. Dr. Sherwood went on to working at the Bryn Mawr School and, along with Dr. Welsh, made major inroads in public health for women and children (4 Jun. 1935, "Doctor Mary Sherwood," Box S-Smith, APS).

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Hopkins Women

41Finally, Sabin contributed to making the path of the Hopkins Medical women a little easier by becoming involved in the women's society there. From the opening of the medical school, M. Carey Thomas and the Baltimore Women's Committee tried to ease the way of the women students. There was a sitting room for the women at the Hospital and a lunchroom in the Physiological Building (Morantz-Sanchez 123-24). A Women's Medical Association was formed in order to help the students find an appropriate place to eat, and in 1918 a house was rented for that purpose, with the ground floor providing the dining room. In addition, there were seven bedrooms that were rented to students. In the spring of 1920 the Women's Association was officially incorporated and that summer a new house was purchased (Women's Medical Association, Box Wi-Z, APS). This was followed by a new alumnae branch of the Women's Organization, with Sabin as its Secretary. The alumnae saw this as a way to stay in touch with the medical school and provide them with club privileges while in Baltimore. The organization, in keeping with the formula of the Women's Organization, was funded by voluntary contributions, which were to be put in a special fund to help reduce the mortgage of the house or pay for repairs. Needless to say, given Sabin's predilection for coeducational professional institutions, the alumnae made clear that their organization in no way replaced or detracted from the regular alumni organization of the medical school ("To the Women Graduate of the Johns Hopkins Medical School," Women's Medical Association, APS). Nonetheless, Sabin and the other medical school graduates, recognized that the women had special needs which they could help address.


42 Florence Sabin understood the pressures that women medical school graduates faced and felt an obligation to help them. She understood the responsibilities which came with prominence and how they might conflict with her personal needs. In 1923 she had reluctantly declined an opportunity to go to the Peking Union Medical College in China in a top administrative position. She wrote to her friend Mrs. Denison,

I thought that I really had to go and from the standpoint of position, I probably should have gone because it is the first time a woman had had a full chair in a man's institution. I must ask you not to let it get out now that I have declined. I made up my mind that I cared more for my research than I did for positions and just now there is so much planned for the next two or three years. (28 Jan. Series II, Box 10, Folder 2, SSC)

Although she was optimistic about the progress that had been made from the time of her graduation at the dawn of the twentieth century, she was well aware of the continuing difficulties in finding post-graduate training, gaining resources for research and positions allowing research, and gaining recognition for the achievements of women scientists. While she always tried to encourage and support the highest standards, she did her best to address these needs through her attempts to establish the Gotham Hospital, to gain recognition for her predecessors and successors, and to help the path of students and scientists through research fellowships. To the extent her efforts fell short of success, one must look to the impact of the Depression and the lack of a critical mass of women in positions of institutional influence.

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Works Cited


The Florence R. Sabin Collection, 79.106 AMC, Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD (AMC).

_____.Streeter Correspondence, Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Embryology, Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD (AMC).

Florence Rena Sabin Papers, B Sa12, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA (APS).

Florence Sabin Collection,the Denison Memorial Library, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO.

The Florence Rena Sabin Collection, 450 SA13, Rockefeller University Archives, Rockefeller Archive Center, Sleepy Hollow, NY (RAC).

Florence Rena Sabin Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Northampton, MA (SSC).


Books and Articles:

Cole, Jonathan R. Fair Science: Women in the Scientific Community. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.

Corner, George W. A History of the Rockefeller Institute 1901-1953, Origins and Growth. New York: The Rockefeller Institute, 1964.

Glazer, Penina Migdal and Miriam Slater. Unequal Colleagues. The Entrance of Women into the Professions, 1890-1940. New Brunswick NJ and London: Rutgers University Press, 1987.

Horowitz, Helen Lefkowtiz. The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994, Illini Books edition 1999.

Magner, Lois N. A History of Medicine, 2nd Ed. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, 2005.

McMaster, Philip D. and Michael Heidelberger. "Florence Rena Sabin." Biographical Memoirs, Vol. xxxiv. National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1960. 271-305.

Morantz-Sanchez, Regina Markell. Sympathy and Science. Women Physicians in American Medicine. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.

More, Ellen S.Restoring the Balance. Women Physicians and the Profession of Medicine, 1850-1995 . Cambridge MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Rossiter, Margaret. Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.

_____. "Florence Sabin: Election to the N.A.S." American Biology Teacher. 39 (1977): 484-86, 494.

Tuchman, Arleen Marcia. Science Has No Sex: The Life of Marie Zakrzewska, M.D. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Walsh, Mary Roth. "Doctors Wanted: No Women Need Apply": Sexual Barriers in the Medical Profession 1835-1975. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1977.