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date: 18 November 2019

Dunham, Ethel Collinslocked

(12 March 1883–13 December 1969)
  • Marion Hunt

Extract

Dunham, Ethel Collins (12 March 1883–13 December 1969), pediatrician and pioneer neonatologist, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Alice Collins and Samuel G. Dunham, a wealthy utility executive, both descendants of early New England settlers. Dunham grew up surrounded by five younger siblings and more than a dozen cousins who lived nearby. In a family history she wrote in 1955, Dunham described her upbringing as harmonious and happy; manners and ethics were taught by example. A concern for those less fortunate came naturally. An aunt organized an annual winter workshop where Ethel and her young relatives made articles for sale to benefit local charities. Dunham graduated from high school in 1901 and spent the next two years as a boarder at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut. Between 1903 and 1909, she enjoyed a life of travel and leisure common for privileged young women. During this time, Dunham decided to study medicine, a remarkably challenging choice. At age twenty-six she returned to Hartford High School for a physics course and was accepted as a student at Bryn Mawr College in 1910. Four years later, despite her relatively advanced age, she gained admission to Johns Hopkins Medical School....

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