Fictional Women Physicians in the Nineteenth Century: The Struggle for Self-Identity

Nancy C. Elder, Andrew Schwarzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


By the late nineteenth century, there were large numbers of women physicians in the United States. Three Realist novels of the time, Dr. Breen's Practice, by William Dean Howells, Dr. Zay, by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps and A Country Doctor, by Sarah Orne Jewett, feature women doctors as protagonists. The issues in these novels mirrored current issues in medicine and society. By contrasting the lives of these fictional women doctors to their historical counterparts, it is seen that, while the novels are good attempts to he truthful treatments of women physicians' struggles, in certain areas they do not accurately address the concerns of women physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Medical Humanities
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy


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