Oral History


"It was really great fun, and with people -- many of whom I knew, because we were all involved in the early feminist movement, and women in medicine, and women in leadership, and Boston was kind of a hotbed of a lot of, you know, that kind of generation of ideas, and thinking. And, we talked about, and came to this place -- there’s never been a book about women as patients, and what were their experiences, and the areas that didn’t get covered. So, that’s how we sort of came up with this series, and there was a series with, you know, a number of areas. And The Woman Patient -- my colleague, who I continued to write with 50 years later, Malkah Notman, Malkah and I, sort of, sat down, and we worked together very closely during this period of time. And, we came up with areas that we thought would be important, in -- what are women’s unique experiences as patients? At the time, there was a lot of discussion about paternalism in medicine, and most doctors were men, there weren’t very many women, it was the beginning of when we were … there were a number of areas that people had never really thought about separately. I mean, nobody talked about genetic counseling, or infertility, and what’s the psychiatric medical interface, or sexual abuse, or anything like that, and we, sort of, developed this series of topics. And, we asked people to write chapters, and, we put together these three volumes that we edited, and people wrote. … it was really a groundbreaking experience…"

- Carol C. Nadelson, on creating The Woman Patient series with Malkah Notman in the 1970s


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For a full transcript of this oral history, click here.