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Lovejoy, Esther Pohl (1869–1967)

Lovejoy, Esther Pohl (1869–1967)

American physician, administrator, feminist, and author. Born Esther Clayson on Nov 16, 1869, in a logging camp near Seabeck, Washington Territory; died Aug 17, 1967, in New York, NY; dau. of Edward Clayson and Annie (Quinton) Clayson; Medical School of the University of Oregon, MD, 1894 (the university's 2nd woman graduate and the 1st to take up the practice of medicine); attended West Side Post-graduate School, Chicago, IL; m. Emil Pohl (surgeon), 1894 (died 1911); m. George A. Lovejoy (businessman), 1913 (div. 1920); children: Frederick Clayson Pohl (1901–1908).

With 1st husband, opened a practice in Portland (1895), then moved to Skagway, Alaska; as the 1st doctors in the area, worked out of a log cabin and visited patients by dog sled; returned to Portland (1899); was also active in woman suffrage movement, combining political activism with her medical practice; during WWI, as a member of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA), petitioned unsuccessfully for a woman physician's right to serve in the war; instead, worked for the Red Cross in France as an investigator for claims (1917), documenting her experiences in The House of the Good Neighbor (1919); became director of American Women's Hospitals (AWH), a position she held for 42 years; wrote Women Physicians and Surgeons (1939) and Women Doctors of the World (1957). Awarded medal of Legion of Honor (France), Gold Cross of Saint Sava (Yugoslavia), Gold Cross of the Holy Sepulcher (Jerusalem), and Gold Cross of the Order of George I (Greece).

See also memoir, Certain Samaritans; and Women in World History.

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