Exponent II Classics: Women's Exponent Revisted

I wish I knew the stories about these women. Why did they become doctors? Why come to Utah? Did Dr. Pratt choose obstetrics as one of her specializations because it was expected? What did Dr. Barney specialize in? Were they treated well? Did they only see women? I couldn’t find much more than a picture of Dr. Pratt when I ran a google search on both women. Sigh…

Exponent II Classics: Women’s Exponent Revisted
Women Doctors
Women’s Exponent July 15, 1882
Republished in Exponent II, Vol. II, No. 1 (September 1975)

Dr. Romania B. Pratt, who returned from New York early in the month of June, has opened an office next to Dr. Benedict’s, on Main Street in Godbe, Pitts, and Co.’s Building. While in the East recently she studied under some of the most renowned specialists in the eye and ear, nose and throat. She has also made obstetrics and diseases of women a special study. Dr. Pratt’s office is well fitted up with all needful appliances for her profession, and she has the newest and best inventions of instruments necessary for the delicate surgical operation in her class of work upon the eye and ear, as also the needful articles for practical work. Mrs. Pratt graduated from the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia more than five years ago, and commenced practice in this city shortly after, having become widely and favorably known among physicians and among the people. Dr. Pratt is connected with the Deseret Hospital.

Dr. E.S. Barney is another woman physician who has more recently attained the title of M.D. and is now prepared to practice. With about half a dozen ladies who have graduated with honors, in the medical progression, and others now in some of the best colleges and universities in the United States, Utah may certainly make a fair showing of women doctors. We would hail with gladness at times when more attention would be paid by young women to the studies of physiology and anatomy, for their own improvement and the benefit of the next generation.

Let us by all means have more lectures on these topics, and use an influence to have them well attended, that the daughters of Zion may become acquainted with their own organism and the laws of life and health, that a foundation may be laid for the prolongation of human life and much pain and suffering be avoided, through intelligent knowledge on these subjects.


EmilyCC works for a national non-profit and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

You may also like...

No Responses

  1. Tona says:

    There’s a good book about Ellis Shipp, who went to medical school here in the Boston area, titled “While Others Slept.” It’s out of print now but you can still find it from used sellers or from interlibrary loan.

  2. Justin says:

    Several articles on Romania Pratt Penrose are available online here.

  3. Tump says:

    I love this classic, it makes me feel proud of my heritage as a mormon woman. I am a veterinarian and have always had an interest in healing and those drawn to the profession. I loved reading about how Romania Pratt sold her prized piano to go to medical school. Thanks for this great post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.