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AMWA Branch 30 hosts Tea & Scones at the historic Camron-Stanford House

AMWA Branch 30 (San Francisco East Bay) hosted an afternoon of Tea & Scones at the historic Camron-Stanford House in Oakland, CA. Guests received a tour of the Victorian House and a viewing of the Exhibition, Expanding Their Wings: Victorian Women and the Ebell Society. Two of the women in the exhibition were women physicians. Named after Dr. Ebell, an early supporter of women’s higher education, the Ebell Society was a forum for women to gather and pursue academic interests at a time when higher education of women was not fashionable. After the tour, guests enjoyed tea and scones in the dining room, and a discussion of the early California women physicians, including Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter, an early graduate of Cooper Medical College (later Stanford Medical School). In her autobiography, coupled with a very interesting book cover design, More Than Gold in California, Dr. Ritter shared an anecdote which reflects the enormous responsibility that early women medical students carried in representing their gender. “A facial operation of such magnitude is far more repellent than one on any other part of the body. As it proceeded, a student fainted. Soon another; and then a third. The three men were stretched out on the floor and no further attention was paid to them. As the gruesome operation proceeded I gritted my teeth, clenched my hands, and held on. Next to me stood a senior woman student. I watched her turn a greenish white and sway a little. Contrary to the ethics of an operating room, where silence is the rule, I hissed in her ear. “Don’t you dare faint.” She jumped, and flushing with anger, turned on me. In turn I flushed with embarrassment. But the return of blood to our heads by blushing saved the situation. The two women students did not faint and thus disgrace the sex. That three men did faint was merely due to a passing circulatory disturbance of no significance; but had the two women medical students fainted, it would have been incontrovertible evidence of the unfitness of the entire sex for the medical profession.”


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AMWA Berkeley Pre-Med Leaders

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AMWA Branch 30 Physicians & Students

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AMWA Berkeley Pre-Med Leaders

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