The New York Academy of Medicine Collection of International Medical Theses consists of tens of thousands of post-1801 theses (approx. 3,500 linear feet) in multiple languages from leading medical schools throughout the world. Europe is well represented, with many theses originating from universities in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Countries with lesser quantities in the collection include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Algeria, Indonesia, and others.
Useful for anyone interested in tracing the development of clinical and scientific inquiry in medical schools in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the collection is also notable for providing a record of the entry of women into the profession of medicine. Women denied entrance into American medical schools, for instance, sometimes turned to Europe for a chance to pursue their studies. One such pioneer is Dr. Susan J. Dimock, who was born in 1847 in Washington, North Carolina. Rejected at Harvard, she was subsequently admitted to the University of Zurich and completed her medical degree in 1871 with a defense of her dissertation on the various forms of puerperal (or “childbed”) fever that she observed in Zurich maternity clinics.