Of course, what I really wanted to do was a feature-length
documentary--but in order to create a manageable project that I could complete
in four weeks, I decided to produce a short promotional video for an organization
that my great-grandmother helped to found: the American Medical Women's
I was able to play at being Ken Burns and experiment with
ways to try to bring old photos to life; I used my great-grandmother's original
words wherever possible in the script and recruited my wonderful neighbor,
Val Gyrisco, to read them. My doctor, who turned out to be an AMWA supporter,
was persuaded to go in front of the camera and sing the organization's praises
and another friend's young daughter, a second-year medical student involved
in AMWA projects, also agreed to an on-camera interview.
The video runs a little over six minutes and has been shown
at several student film and video screenings and on local cable television.
|[Logo of the American Medical
Women's Association, with vision statement
Empowering women to lead
in improving health for all
|FADE TO SERIES OF QUICK CUTS UNDER
1) town overview of main street with horses and buggies
2) train depot sign showing "Oswego"
3) interior of doctor's office with skull in foreground,
books in back
4) Emma and John sitting in office
5) close up of Emma Linton Hill (TWICE)
|VO: (1) A hundred years
ago, back when women doctors made up a small minority of the profession,
Dr. Emma Linton Hill (5) began practicing medicine in a small town (2)
in Kansas. She set up an office (3) with her husband John,
(4) who'd earned his degree a few years earlier.
(5) Getting her medical education in the 1890s
hadn't been easy:
|[PHOTO OF EMMA LINTON HILL IN
OPERATING THEATER IN CHICAGO ; zoom in slowly past sea of male faces to
her, seated in front, as actor quotes her tale; zoom out again so ends
on full image]
||DR. HILL: "Not all professors
welcomed the girls to their lectures on medical subjects...some had gatekeepers
to prohibit women from attending. We must remember, in those bygone days
women found scant welcome anywhere outside the bedroom and the kitchen."
VO: On the first day she was to observe an operation,
as she later recounted the tale to other female medical students,
DR. HILL: "As we awaited the arrival of the surgeon I
was pelted with paper wads until I had to pull my hat down over my eyes
for protection..But the surgeon, who saw what was happening, gave me the
best seat to see his work. And I attended his next clinic day as if nothing
|[CLOSEUP ON STATIONERY showing
"Offices of Drs. Hill, Physicians and Surgeons" and image of happy baby]
||VO: Because she'd lost three of
her own four pregnancies, she was personally interested in how doctors
might provide more information about pre-natal health care--as well as
raising a healthy, happy, child. As a daughter of a Quaker family that
had a tradition of educating its women, she felt she could contribute by
becoming a doctor herself.
|[1)full frame: PHOTO OF HORSE
2) full frame: WINTER SCENE OF HOUSE/OFFICE
3) zoom on: SNOW TREES]
|VO: (1)In the beginning years,
she drove her own horse and buggy all over Labette County.
HILL: (2) "There is much to enjoy on a long night ride alone.
Going forth on a (3) winter night, with the moon on the pure white
snow, I have encountered scenes of unequaled beauty."
|[EMMA, SMILING, WITH MODEL-T]
||VO: But, as she would later warn
a class of medical students:
HILL: "You are expected to always be at your best--at
the most inopportune times! In the middle of the night when the rain pours
or the snow and sleet are peppering the road...You must snatch your medical
case and your instrument case...you must cheerfully sally forth."
|[PHOTO OF SMALLPOX VICTIM]
||VO: She saw patients with tuberculosis
and typhoid, syphilis and smallpox.
|[MOTHER CRADLING CHILD WITH GROWTH]
||VO: Mothers who puzzled--or grieved--over
their children's sicknesses. And she saw deaths that could have been prevented
|[AMA LETTERHEAD SHOWING HER NAME
AS PUBLIC HEALTH CHAIR FOR STATE]
||VO: Believing in the special role
women physicians could play in educating the public, she took an active
role in American Medical Association.
|[CLOSEUP ON TEXT MOVING ALONG
HANDWRITTEN SENTENCE, ""In 1909..."]
||In 1909 she helped launch the first organized
movement in history for the general prevention of disease through specific
education of the public about its causes and early care.
|[PHOTO OF EMMA IN LIBRARY]
||VO: Early diagnosis of diseases like
TB and cancer dramatically changed treatment options. Understanding
more about common colds could prevent pneumonia; better information
about diet could prevent gastritis and many other problems.
|[CLOSE-UP on odd family shot,
||HILL "Who can see more clearly
the benefit that would come from this education...than the women physician?
Who has felt its need more keenly?"
|[PORTRAIT OF EMMA WITH CHILD]
||HILL: "The day a woman brings
into this world her child she gives a hostage to her god that she make
this world a better place for that child to inhabit.."
|[GROUP SHOT OF AMWA WOMEN: zoom
out from closeup on Hill to large group photo of AMWA women in 1937, banner
with name prominent
[LINGER on sign]
|VO: Early outreach efforts included
a series of public health lectures, a traveling exhibit on TB and a visiting
nurse program for expectant mothers. At the forefront of these efforts
were the women physicians of the AMA. In 1915, these women joined forces
to form an aligned group that they named the Medical Women's National Association,
to bring medical women together to address their shared concerns.
|[1) CLOSEUP IN AMWA PIN; dissolve
(2) MEDICAL WOMEN'S JOURNAL COVER}
|VO: (1) Out of the efforts of
doctors like Emma Linton Hill (2) and many others, the organization grew
into the American Medical Women's Association--AMWA. With some 13,000 members
today, AMWA continues to serve as a voice for empowering women in medicine.
|[HEAD SHOT of Dr. Joyce Leslie speaking, ID name and affiliation on-screen]
||LESLIE: "I think AMWA has done
much to educate the medical community about the special contributions and
special needs of women."
|[AMWA logo; dissolves quickly
to next shot]
|VO: And today, nearly 48 percent
of AMWA's membership is medical students.
|[HEAD SHOT of Rebecca Hoover,
second-year med student; ID name and affiliation on-screen]
|HOOVER: "I decided I wanted to
be a doctor because...."I got involved in AMWA my first year as a med student,
|VO: AMWA--Dedicated to meeting challenges
specific to women physicians in addition to addressing needs particular
to women patients.
|[STILL WITH LIST OF CURRENT EDUCATION
coronary heart disease in women research
breast and cervical cancer screening project for primary care physicians
tobacco control project for women and girls
child care program development
||VO: Many AMWA projects are designed
to educate its physician members, the medical community, or the public.
Our efforts depend on the contributions of our members--from pioneering
women doctors like Emma Linton Hill to future MD Rebecca Hoover--to you.
We need YOUR efforts, commitment, and input
| [SPLIT SCREEN:
Closeup/merging faces of Emma from oil portrait, face of Rebecca]
||VO: By the end of the next decade,
nearly 30 percent of all practicing doctors will be women--and close to
50 percent of medical students. As a woman in medicine you'll be confronting
many special issues. AMWA can help--and you can help AMWA. Find out out
more about your local chapter activities.
||[MUSIC UP AND UNDER}
||VO: AMWA--The organization that
empowers women to lead in improving health for all.