Sylvia & Me
Olivia Campbell: Author ‘Women in White Coats’

Olivia Campbell,  author of the non-fiction book, Women In White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine. Women in White Coats takes us back to the early 1800’s. Before there were any women doctors, it was a time when women were dying from treatable diseases. Dying because they avoided medical demeaning and painful examinations that were only given by male doctors. It sounds unbelievable, but a diagnosis of illness for a woman held quite a stigma. A stigma that could hinder her ability to marry, work or be received in polite society.

Enter Elizabeth Blackwell, Lizzie Garret Anderson and Sophie Jex-Blake. Three women who fought for a woman’s place in this male-dominated medical field. Olivia introduces us to these incredible women who led the way. Three very different women, different in personality and circumstances. How did they create the first time medical care for women by women? Based on extensive research, Olivia Campbell tells their compelling and courageous story.

A gripping and revealing conversation with Olivia Campbell:

  • 2 similar riots and the spark – Philadelphia, PA and Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 3 years of research – New York, London and Edinburgh
  • Women and the dare
  • Meet Elizabeth Blackwell and her journey
  • Florence Nightingale vs Elizabeth Blackwell or Nurse vs Doctor
  • 1st medical school for women
  • The meeting
  • Elizabeth, Lizzie and Sophia and the Women’s Medical School in London
  • Medical school then and medical school now
  • Why women needed women doctors
  • Women, medical profession then and now
  • Harassment, sexism and the medical profession
  • The effects of the pandemic

Meet Olivia Campbell

Olivia Campbell is an independent journalist, essayist and author. Her focus is on the intersections of medicine, women, history and nature. Olivia’s work has appeared in publications like The Atlantic, New York Magazine/The Cut, The Washington Post, the Guardian, and the Smithsonian Magazine.

Women In White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine is her first book.

Olivia holds a master’s degree in science writing from John Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree in journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. Olivia lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband, three sons and their cat.