This chapter focuses on women general practitioners in the 19th century. The history of women in general practice is that of female practitioners operating in a semi-detached professional sphere. This was in part the product of gendered cultural values, but was also the result of the medical market whose congested state was worsened by the entrance of women themselves. This highly competitive situation encouraged ecological practice niches, where female GPs developed distinctive career paths and patient constituencies. As the period advanced, the forces making for a gendered separatism became weaker, so that medical women became more assimilated. Increasingly women did not wish to see themselves as a separate group: their self-perception became one of themselves as doctors in their profession, but as women in their private lives.
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