Isabella “Ella” Ferrier Pringle (1876-1963) made history as the first female Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) in 1929. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, she initially worked as a typist before pursuing a medical career at the University of Edinburgh. After earning her MBChB in 1909, she served as a medical missionary in Manchuria until her return to Scotland due to ill health in 1916.
Following her recovery, Pringle obtained a Diploma in Public Health and became the assistant medical officer for Paisley in 1917. In 1919, she became the first full-time female medical officer specializing in maternity and child health. From 1921 to 1941, she held the position of senior assistant medical officer in Edinburgh, where she established an extensive child welfare and maternity service.
Pringle achieved further academic milestones, obtaining her doctorate (MD) in 1921 and passing her MRCPEd examinations in 1925. She passed away on 27 May 1963 and was laid to rest alongside her parents in Edinburgh’s Morningside Cemetery. Her significant contributions to the medical field and her pioneering role as a female physician continue to be recognized and honored.