Did you know this about Gertrude Stein?

January 26, 2007

She was almost a doctor. Yes, that’s right, in the 1890’s, she got into and made it through over three years of Johns Hopkins Medical School. In the 1890’s. Women in some parts of the US were still being discouraged from going to medical school in the 1970’s. Oddly enough, her brains were not enough to make up for a heart that had moved on when she got bored with medicine after finishing the first two years of academic work and moving into clinical training, where she found herself less than thrilled by working with patients. She left halfway through her fourth year, after failing a bunch of classes. But instead of moping around and feeling like a failure, she got back to her writing and eventually headed to Paris. Not that she didn’t sometimes worry about whether or not she was doing the right thing–the article mentions that she feared that she had done a disservice to other women by abandoning her training–but that she stuck to what she just felt she had to do.

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