|Dr. James Barry and 'his' servant of 50 years.|
Dr. James Barry was either the first female surgeon, or the first transgender surgeon, in the world.
(If you ask me, I think the former is more likely: her transformation into manhood was timed out exactly with her enrolment in university to study medicine, something only allowed for men at the time. Smells like a Shakespearean case of cross-dressing to achieve greatness to me, but heck, maybe it served a dual purpose.)
Born Margaret Ann Bulkley, this young whippersnapper was smart and wanted to enrol in medical school. When her wealthy uncle, artist James Barry, died and left her family a load of cash, it was the perfect chance: she took his name, somehow passed the medical exam required to enter school, and enrolled.
From then on, nobody knew she was a woman until she died. Except, I bet, her servant, who stayed with her for 50 years and provided her with the towels she used to bind her woman-parts every day.
But that's not all! In her disguise, she performed the first-ever Caesarian section on a woman in labour, forever changing the landscape of women's lives and allowing more mothers and babies to survive childbirth!
For this most excellent trickery and outstanding medical accomplishment, I award Dr. Margaret Ann Bulkley/James Barry, The Receptionist's Awesome Award!
(via: The Irish Examiner)
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