Dr. Elizabeth C. Jones, who graduated from the Tulane School of Medicine in 1952, has written a book about her career along with those of her five other female classmates. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
“We were told we would all get married, drop out and not be worth the effort that was expended on our education,” says Dr. Elizabeth C. Jones, one of the six women who graduated with the 1952 class of Tulane University School of Medicine
. Jones’ lifelong career as a pediatrician tells a different story, one of dedication and professionalism.
She has written a book, Six Super Golden Women
, describing her career and the careers of her five women classmates. Accompanied by several generations of family members, Jones visited the medical school on Nov. 2 to donate several copies of the book to the Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences.
When Jones was a student, women accounted for only around 5 percent of medical students nationally, compared with close to 50 percent currently. For the Tulane School of Medicine class of 2016, 432 applicants were accepted: 217 females and 215 males.
In Jones’ day, medical college authorities were openly skeptical about women choosing medicine as a career.
“The young woman who plans a career in medicine should make a convincing case for the prospect of spending her life in medicine, inasmuch as each one who drops out has prevented the acceptance of another applicant who will have devoted perhaps four decades of his life to useful service,” states the 1949 edition of the Tulane medical faculty bulletin.
Jones and three of her classmates went into pediatrics, one practiced as a medical missionary in Chile for 30 years and one was an anesthesiologist.
“The major part of my practice became adoptions and foster care,” Jones says. She practiced in Evanston, Ill., until she retired in 1995.
“This book is about what we six women have accomplished in our careers,” says Jones. “The impetus for it was to show that we had in no way wasted our education. Every one of us stayed with medicine and made great contributions, I think, to it.”