'The turning point in the whole struggle' : the admission of women to the King and Queen’s College of Physicians in Ireland

Kelly, Laura (2013) 'The turning point in the whole struggle' : the admission of women to the King and Queen’s College of Physicians in Ireland. Women's History Review, 22 (1). pp. 97-125. ISSN 0961-2025

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Abstract

In 1877, the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland made history by becoming the first institution in the United Kingdom to take advantage of the Enabling Act of 1876 and admit women to take its medical licences. However, in spite of the fact that the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland was crucial in the registration of early British women doctors in this period, there has, as yet, been little academic attention paid to the history of women in medicine in Ireland. This article traces the history of women's admission to Irish medical schools. Drawing on Irish printed sources, it explores the arguments for and against women in medicine that were propagated during the period. It also investigates the reasons for the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland's decision to admit women to take its licences, arguing that medical schools in Ireland had a more favourable attitude towards the admission of women than was the case in England.