Women in Medicine

by R. Cohen | Jun 23, 2008
Women in Medicine Most of us are familiar with famous women such as Florence Nightingale and Marie Curie. In South Jersey, there were some women who made names for themselves in the medical community--the first women in New Jersey's county medical societies. Here are some of the South Jersey women who were their counties' trailblazers.

Ruth Clement (1848-1925)
Ruth Clement grew up in Paulsboro and received her degree from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1889. She worked in the college hospital and then opened a private practice in Philadelphia. She received a New Jersey medical license in 1907 and opened a private practice in National Park in about 1915. That year she was elected as the first woman member of the Gloucester County Medical Society.

Rebecca Cooper Hallowell (1830-1909)
Rebecca Hallowell graduated in 1878 from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania and began a practice in Atlantic City. In 1883 was elected the first woman member of the Atlantic County Medical Society. Later she became a medical missionary for the Women's Matronal Indian Association and helped to establish a hospital at Adun Colentz, San Diego County, California. She returned in 1907 and died in her Haddonfield home in 1909.

Emma Weeks Metzer (1870-1964)
Emma Pauline Weeks, who was born in Riverside, NJ, entered the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1890 and graduated in 1892. She did clinical work in Philadelphia and opened a practice in Riverside in 1893. In 1896 she became the first woman member of the Burlington County Medical Society. She married William H. Metzer in 1900 and continued her practice in Riverside. She was one of the original ten physicians on staff at Zurbrugg Hospital when it opened in 1915.

Anna Maria Hand (1849-1921)
Anna Hand was born in Cape May Court house and educated at the New Jersey State Normal School. She taught for seven years in Pennsylvania and then entered the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia, from which she graduated in 1890. In 1892 she began a practice in Cape May Court House and became the first woman member of the Cape May County Medical Society in 1901. She moved to Philadelphia in 1914 and in about 1918 to New York.

Mary J. Dunlap (1853-19??)
Mary Dunlap was born in Philadelphia and received her medical degree from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1886. In 1889 she became medical director and superintendent of the Home for the Feeble-Minded (now the Vineland Developmental Center). In 1899 she became the first woman president of the Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Persons (now the Association for Mental Retardation) and in January 1901 became first woman member of the Cumberland County Medical Society. In 1909 she married Clarence Snyder and moved to Wisconsin. They moved to New York City soon after World War I broke out, but Mary returned to Wisconsin, where she was last recorded in 1923, after the death of her husband.

For more South Jersey History, visit our South Jersey History page.

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Author: R. Cohen


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