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Hurd-Mead, Kate Campbell (06 April 1867–01 January 1941), gynecologist and women's historian, gynecologist and women’s historian, was born Kate Campbell Hurd in Danville, Quebec, Canada, the daughter of Edward Payson Hurd, a physician, and Sara Elizabeth Campbell. Hurd’s family moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1870; there her father, who served as an inspiration to her own medical career, established a medical practice, held a professorship in a Boston medical school, and served on the editorial board of two leading medical magazines. Hurd pursued two years of private tutorials after her 1883 high school graduation in Newburyport before enrolling in the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She received an M.D. in 1888, some thirty-seven years after the college awarded its first medical degree to a woman. She interned the following year at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston. This hospital, founded in 1862, had, by Hurd’s time, gained a national reputation for being what medical historian Regina Markell Morantz-Sanchez has dubbed the “showplace for quality medical care” administered by women. Under the leadership of ...

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Hurdon, Elizabeth (28 January 1868–29 January 1941), gynecologist and pathologist, was born in Bodmin, England, the daughter of John Hurdon, a linen and woolen draper, and Ann Coom. Soon after her birth, the Hurdons and their two daughters moved to Canada. Not much is known about Elizabeth’s early years, but by age thirteen she was attending the Wesleyan Ladies College in Hamilton, Ontario, where in 1886 she received a degree in literature. In 1895 she received a medical degree from the Trinity College of the University of Toronto....

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Levine, Lena (17 May 1903–09 January 1965), gynecologist, psychiatrist, and pioneer of the birth control movement, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Morris H. Levine, a clothing manufacturer, and Sophie Levine. Her parents, Jewish émigrés from Russia, had come to the United States in the 1890s. Her father’s business did well enough that the family lived relatively comfortably compared to their neighbors. Levine received a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College in 1923, and then went on to earn her M.D. from University and Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1927. Two years later she married Louis Ferber, another medical student, but decided to retain her maiden name. They both did their residencies at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital....

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Putnam, Helen Cordelia (14 September 1857–03 February 1951), physician and public health reformer, was born in Stockton, Minnesota, the daughter of Herbert Asa Putnam, a general store owner, and Celintha T. Gates. She received her A.B. from Vassar College in 1878 and then enrolled in Harvard University’s Sargent School of Physical Training. In 1883, having completed that school’s course of study, she returned to Vassar as director of physical education. Shortly thereafter she became active in the affairs of the American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education and served as its vice president from 1885 to 1888. She also enrolled in the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, where she specialized in obstetrics and the diseases of women and received her M.D. in 1889. In 1890 she left Vassar to become an intern at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston. Two years later she moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she practiced gynecology for the next forty-three years....