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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


SEPULVEDA C., Cecilia. The presence of women in Chilean medicine: from the times of Eloísa Díaz to this day. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2019, vol.147, n.9, pp.1184-1189. ISSN 0034-9887.

Though the presence of many women in medicine goes unnoticed today, their incorporation to the field was slow and difficult. It took until the end of the nineteenth century for women to be finally allowed to study at the University in Chile, being Eloísa Díaz the first woman to become a medical doctor in 1887. In that century, only six women became medical doctors. However, throughout the twentieth century, this small proportion of women in medicine increased at a similar rate as tuition did in the schools of medicine, especially from the 1960's when limited quotas for women were abolished. At present, women doctors constitute 40% of the total pool of medical doctors in Chile, being present in all specialties, though preferably found as general practitioners, family doctors and pediatricians. While many women have stood out in academia and in politics, they have also successfully reached high positions in scientific societies (and other offices such in the Health Ministry, and even the country's presidency) their participation is still limited in these areas. It is only fair to conclude that the outstanding participation that women in Chilean medicine enjoy today is not solely due to their long-lasting efforts, but more importantly, to their tireless struggle to overcome prejudice, discrimination and misunderstanding; the latter being especially represented by pioneer women of medicine.

Palabras clave : Chile; Schools; Medical; History of Medicine; Physicians; Women.

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