Rae Bryant


Gynecology and Abdominal Surgery: Volume I (W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 1907) was edited by Howard Kelly, M.D., a Johns Hopkins Hospital gynecologist and a “Big Four” professor at The Johns Hopkins University. Kelly was identified as establishing gynecology as an accredited specialty at a time when female practitioners were dismissed as “female doctors,” a.k.a. abortionists, regardless of experience, study and degree. Kelly, however, did include doctors of both genders in his groundbreaking volume. The dichotomy struck me. Kelly established practices and academics regarding the female body, edited a preeminent gynecological textbook and pushed outside the boundary of US gender prejudices. The text begged redaction by a woman. I’ll not go into the catharsis I experienced in the sculpting of the work. I’ll leave that to each individual reader.