March is Women’s History Month and this year we are celebrating Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman in Britain to qualify as a physician and surgeon. If this achievement alone wasn’t enough she was also the first female mayor in Britain, and a co-founder of the first hospital staffed by women which, at the time of 1874, was the only teaching hospital in Britain to offer educational courses to women. This hospital, originally called the London School of Medicine for Women, would later become part of the University College London Hospital Trust. For more information on the history of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson visit our hospital site here.
We are proud to have this pioneering woman as part of our history at UCLH. She paved the way for all future women in the UK, proving that a career in medicine was accessible and achievable to all. Since the 19th century UCLH has seen thousands of incredible women working in the field of medicine making medical advancements through research, and saving lives through clinical work.
Today we commemorate Anderson through the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Wing at UCLH. The wing provides high quality care to women and babies through the gynaecology, maternity and neonatal specialities. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson dedicated her career to helping women access medical help from a qualified practitioner of their own gender; she especially wanted to help the poorer women in London who hadn’t been able to access this sort of help before. Although we have made significant developments to women’s health since the 1800s, our mission on the EGA wing remains the same – to provide specialist care to all the women and babies who need our support.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing women who have worked at UCLH, past and present, and recognise their significant contribution to medicine, especially in the past year! To help support our services in the EGA wing you can donate here.