In the 1930s, women medical students called themselves “medico-eds,” said author Fitzgerald at a talk and signing Aug. 23 at LSU Health campus. She shared some personal observations about her mother’s experiences in medical training, while Dean Andrew Chesson offered his insights on the medical training of the times.

Fitzgerald’s mother, Dr. Alice Baker, was the eighth woman to graduate from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. She wrote in her letters that she and her friends enduring a good bit of “razzing” from the other students, but it was all in fun and they got along pretty well with the boys. The young prefeminist did not take offense easily at slights against women, Fitzgerald said, but she did occasionally lose her temper– as when a patient refused to let her take his physical history and called her an “awful woman” for asking such personal questions!