por Nancy Ryerson
, Staff Writer | March 01, 2013
From the March 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
By 1867, the college’s name had been changed to the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1891, the Women’s Medical College became one of the first American medical schools to adopt a 4-year medical school. Also in that decade, alumnae founded a clinic to offer free care to poor women and children. It also gave students another place to practice and learn.
Elsewhere in the country, hospitals and universities were slow to admit female students. By 1893, 37 out of 105 medical schools in the United States accepted women. Soon after, more women’s medical schools opened in large cities such as Baltimore, Boston and Chicago. In 1890, the U.S. census counted 4,500 female physicians. By 1900, that number had risen to more than 7,300.
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The college and hospital continued to grow and expand into the 20th century, adding additional buildings in the 1920s, but its good fortune did not last forever. It experienced financial difficulties in the 1960s and began admitting men in 1969, becoming the Medical College of Pennsylvania. It continued to suffer financial problems for the next several decades, merging with Hahnemann Medical College in 1993. In 2003, the college was absorbed as part of the Drexel University College of Medicine.
Today, women make up around half of all medical students. In 2010, 16,838 medical degrees were awarded in the U.S. to women, 48.3 percent of all medical degrees and an increase from 26.8 percent in 1982. All of which is a far cry from the class of 1851’s group of eight.
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