Screen Shots
from American Medical Women's Association Promotional Video

Dr. Emma Linton Hill, one of the first women doctors

A hundred years ago, back when women doctors made up a small minority of the profession, Dr. Emma Linton Hill began practicing medicine in a small town in Kansas. She set up an office with her husband John...

In a letter to a friend, Hill described the harassment she'd faced from male students in medical school: "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." [She is identified in operating theater above with initials ELH.]


In the beginning years, she drove her own horse and buggy all over Labette County...


"You are expected to always be at your best--in the middle of the night when the rain pours or the snow and sleet are peppering the must snatch your medical case and your instrument must cheerfully sally forth." (From a speech Dr. Hill delivered to a class of medical students)


She saw patients with tuberculosis and typhoid, syphilis and smallpox...


...Mothers who puzzled--or grieved--over their children's sicknesses. And she saw deaths that could have been prevented through education.


"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." (from a speech delivered by Dr. Hill; photo above of Dr. Hill's daughter Helen Hill Craig and granddaughter Margaret.) 


In 1915 the women physicians of the AMA joined forces to form an organization that would bring medical women together to address their shared concerns...Out of the efforts of Dr. Hill and others, the organization grew into the American Medical Women's Association--AMWA."




"Who can see more clearly the benefit that would come from this education...than the women physician? Who has felt its need more keenly?" (from a speech by Dr. Emma Linton Hill)

AMWA--dedicated to meeting challenges specific to women physicians in addition to addressing needs particular to women patients.

[The AMWA journal ran a special issue feature when Dr. Hill died in 1943; she quite literally died "with her boots on" as she was returning from a call on a patient. See "Trip Letter to a Friend" in WORDS section for more details.]

"I think AMWA has done much to educate the medical community about the special contributions and special needs of women." [Ithaca physician and AMWA member, Dr. Joyce Leslie]



"I got involved with AMWA and its mentoring program my first year in medical school..." [Second-year Washington University medical student Rebecca Hoover]