Research Questions

My research topic is to analyze the factors that combined to produce the admittance of women into medical school in the United States. I am specifically examining Jesuit medical schools, and will likely choose to focus on Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Furthermore, I wish to determine the reactions of the medical schools and the Jesuits, and what the experience was like for the first women matriculated into medical schools. That being said, there are 5 preliminary questions I hope to answer through the process of researching for this paper.

  1. What legal changes made it possible for women to attend medical school?
  2. What was the response of the male students and faculty to the admittance of women?
  3. Did the Society of Jesus and individual Jesuits at these medical schools support or oppose the decision to admit women?
  4. What challenges did women face to be accepted and then while in medical school?
  5. When and how many women were admitted in the first co-ed class and were only white women accepted, or were minority women allowed to apply as well?

I plan to begin my research searching the literature for articles and books that discuss women’s acceptance to medical school in general, and then narrow in to Jesuit schools or Loyola specifically. The library database will be my starting point to browsing the existing literature. I will use the Women and Leadership Archives to dive deeper into Loyola’s history as well to find primary sources of students’ opinions during the period of history.

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