Title

Independent Women in the Civil War Medical Field

Presenter Information

Alyssa Roundtree

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 202

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

The United States Civil War affected all American citizens. Women were particularly impacted and attempted to use the situation to their advantage. During this war many women thought by leaving their homes on the plantation to work in hospitals, they would experience a new independence. What they encountered was a male dominated medical system not inclusive of women. Though the need for assistance was dire, the perceived limitations of women prevented their male superiors from placing them into medical positions. Female volunteers were required to meet strict standards, greatly limiting the number of women accepted into the medical field. This further restricted the opportunities for the independence women expected they would gain. When women were allowed into the medical field, it required strength, determination, and tenure to be empowered even remotely. Few women were able to use their experience in the Civil War medical arena to gain a greater independence. The hopes women had of gaining an independent life through wartime medical service were shattered upon encountering the harsh reality of the male driven medical society.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Daniel Herman

Additional Mentoring Department

History

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May 17th, 3:20 PM May 17th, 3:40 PM

Independent Women in the Civil War Medical Field

SURC 202

The United States Civil War affected all American citizens. Women were particularly impacted and attempted to use the situation to their advantage. During this war many women thought by leaving their homes on the plantation to work in hospitals, they would experience a new independence. What they encountered was a male dominated medical system not inclusive of women. Though the need for assistance was dire, the perceived limitations of women prevented their male superiors from placing them into medical positions. Female volunteers were required to meet strict standards, greatly limiting the number of women accepted into the medical field. This further restricted the opportunities for the independence women expected they would gain. When women were allowed into the medical field, it required strength, determination, and tenure to be empowered even remotely. Few women were able to use their experience in the Civil War medical arena to gain a greater independence. The hopes women had of gaining an independent life through wartime medical service were shattered upon encountering the harsh reality of the male driven medical society.