Amelia Could Have Been A Doctor (Part 3)
After Amelia worked as a nurse's aide in Toronto a horrible flu epidemic hit North America. Amelia was one of many that became terribly sick. Amelia's infection became so serious that she had to have surgery to drain her sinus cavities. Unfortunately, the procedure was not 100% effective and she struggled with sinus
problems for the rest of her life, but the major infection had been removed.
As one would assume, the recovery was long. She needed to recover not only from the terrible flu that she contracted, but also from the surgery she underwent to remove it. During this time she decided she wanted to become a doctor. The 20th century had seen a drastic reduction of women in the medical field despite the many advancements made in medical history.
Many institutions felt that women had weak sensibilities toward the subjects studied. Other questionable concerns revolved around the indecency of women studying the male reproductive system. Other archaic mindsets concluded that women just were not suitable for that advanced education and knowledge. Yet, since the mid 1800s determined women across the world worked their way into medical schools. 1949, A century after Blackwell, only a little over 5% of medical students were female. This percentage only increased over the decades due to feminist movements, Title IX, and the empowerment of women.
Just think, Amelia could have been a trailblazer in a completely different field!
Thankfully for all women in aviation, Amelia sought a different path. Her encounters with aviation, flight, and soaring machines all culminated into one peak moment when she realized her path in life was not paved on ground, but floated on clouds in the sky.
"History of Women in Medicine," Office for Diversity and Inclusion: Heersink School of Medicine, (Online), https://www.uab.edu/medicine/diversity/initiatives/women/history.
Libby Romero, DK Life Stories, Amelia Earhart. Great Britain: DK: Penguin Random House, 2020, 29.