The Mothers of Gynecology


J. Marion Sims and 19th century gynecological instruments

J. Marion Sims is hailed as the father of gynecology, but his legacy is tainted by his experimental surgeries on enslaved women. Cristen and Caroline contextualize Sims' controversy, diagnose medicine's racist past and honor the unsung mothers of gynecology.

Episode Sources:

"The painful story behind modern anesthesia" http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/the-painful-story-behind-modern-anesthesia/

"Remembering Anarcha, Lucy and Betsey: The mothers of modern gynecology" http://wuwm.com/post/remembering-anarcha-lucy-and-betsey-mothers-modern-gynecology#stream/0

"Scholars argue over legacy of surgeon who was lionized, then vilified" http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/28/health/scholars-argue-over-legacy-of-surgeon-who-was-lionized-then-vilified.html

"Black hospital patients given cold shoulder in disturbing new study" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-patients-worse-care_us_568ffdbbe4b0cad15e6498d9?ir=Black%2BVoices&section=black-voices&utm_hp_ref=black-voices

"The quality of health care you receive likely depends on your skin color" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/29/racial-inequality-health-care-black-v-white_n_7164140.html

"I don't feel your pain" https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/06/14/don-feel-your-pain/cIrKD5czM0pgZQv7PgCmxI/story.html

Academic Insights:

"The body beautiful." Alice E. Adams. Bodily Discursions: Genders, Representations, Technologies. Deborah S. Wilson and Christine Moneera Laennec, eds. SUNY Press, 1997. https://books.google.com/books?id=_bsRAtKx8KQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

"The portrayal of J. Marion Sims' Controversial Legacy." Sarah Spettle and Mark Donald White. The Journal of Urology. Vol. 185. 2011. http://www.urologichistory.museum/content/exhibits/historyforum/spettel_on_sims.pdf

"The medical ethics of J Marion Sims: a fresh look at the historical record." L.L. Wall. Journal of Medical Ethics. Vol. 32, No. 6. June 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563360/

"Differences in Physicians' Verbal and Nonverbal Communication With Black and White Patients at the End of Life." Andrea M. Elliott et al. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Vol. 51, Iss. 1. Pages 1-8. http://www.jpsmjournal.com/article/S0885-3924(15)00402-9/abstract

"J. Marion Sims, the father of gynecology: Hero or villain?" Jeffrey S. Sarton. Southern Medical Journal. Vol. 97, No. 5. 2004. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/479892_3

Topics in this Podcast: reproduction, health, Biology, slavery, gynecology, history