Pioneers: Louise McIlroy, FRCOG 1929

Anyone wanting to know about the involvement of medical women in the history of the RCOG should start at the beginning. And that beginning was Dame Louise McIlroy. As well as being one of the College’s first female Fellows and a foundation Fellow of the Colleg, McIlroy was also the first women on the RCOG…

Pioneers: Margaret Ida Balfour (1865-1945) FRCOG 1931

This month’s Pioneers post honours Margaret Ida Balfour, an early Fellow of the College whose efforts helped shape maternity care for women in India over a century ago. Margaret Ida Balfour – known to her family simply as ‘Ida’ – was born into a large family in Edinburgh in 1865, where her father, Robert, was…

Pioneers: Margaret Basden, FRCOG 1931 (1886 – 1974)

This month, Pioneers profiles the life and work of RCOG Fellow Margaret Mary Basden. Basden was a leading obstetric and gynaecological specialist, treating women around London, including in its poorest boroughs in the early 20th century. One of her greatest contributions to maternal health and wellbeing involved getting mothers up and out of bed during…

Pioneers: Frances Ivens (1870-1944) FRCOG 1929

This month’s Pioneers profile focuses on another veteran of Royaumont Military Hospital: Frances Ivens. Before becoming a founding Fellow of the RCOG, Ivens was a recipient of the Legion of Honour for her heroic efforts treating wounded allied soldiers, often just miles from the front lines during the First World War. Born Mary Hannah Frances…

Pioneers: Ruth Nicholson, FRCOG 1931

This month’s Pioneers post explores the life and work of Dr Ruth Nicholson (1884-1963). Ruth was one of the foremost medical women in the North of England during the early 20th century. Recently, we were lucky enough to ask questions about Ruth to Rosemary Nicholson, wife of Ruth’s nephew and an advocate for the remarkable…

Pioneers: Louisa Martindale (1873-1966) FRCOG 1933

Louisa Martindale was a pioneering surgeon, an ardent suffragist and one of the most influential figures in Brighton in the early 20th century. She was Brighton’s first female GP. She served with the Scottish Women’s Hospital at Royaumont during the First World War and as a surgeon in London during the Second World War. She…

Pioneers: Alice Bloomfield

Born in India, Alice Bloomfield and her family moved back to Britain after the death of her father. With a view to becoming the family breadwinner, Alice enrolled as a medical student at Edinburgh University where she graduated with first class honours in 1919. Her keen mind and academic brilliance made a star in the…

Pioneers: Frances Mabel Huxley

This month’s Pioneer is Frances Mabel Huxley (1884-1969) Frances Huxley was a Manchester University educated gynaecologist whose work on postural apnoea in Glasgow earned her the MD with gold medal in 1912. She was respected and a brilliant medical student, however her application for a senior resident post at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester caused…

Pioneers: Margaret Fairlie, FRCOG (1891-1963)

This time (and in time for International Women’s Day), our Pioneers series takes a look at one of the early female Fellows of our College. When the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was founded in 1929, many practicing female gynaecologists initially hesitated to join. According to Fletcher Shaw’s history of the College, whilst they…

Pioneers: Dr June Scudamore FRCOG (1925-2008)

The weeks leading up to International Women’s Day are the perfect time to launch our newest regular feature: Pioneers, where we highlight innovators from within the fields of obstetrics and gynaecology. We’ll celebrate the lives, careers and achievements of these medical titans, with profiles of 16th century midwives, 20th century Members and Fellows of the…

Fantastic Finds for Friday: A Letter from Florence Nightingale

This month’s Fantastic Find comes courtesy of the ‘Lady of the Lamp’. There are few nurses more well known than Florence Nightingale (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910). Venerated as a hero of the Crimean War for her management of nurses treating wounded soldiers, Nightingale was also an author. Her book Notes on Nursing: What…

Louise Bourgeois’s Observations: the earliest printed work by a midwife

This month our blog features a guest post from Valerie Worth-Stylianou. Valerie is a Senior Tutor at Trinity College and the Mellon-TORCH Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Oxford. This blog post features an in-depth look at one of the RCOG’s early printed books which featured at the recent Knowledge Exchange workshop hosted by…