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Edinburgh Medicine Timeline

Edinburgh Medicine Timeline

Stories and events from Edinburgh Medicine

What did Pechey and Jex-Blake do after their studies in Edinburgh?

From Bern to Bombay, Edinburgh to London.

Edith Pechey circa 1883. Bourne & Shepherd (anon) [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Edith Pechey passed medicalexams at the University of Bern in January 1877, her thesis was titled “Upon the constitutional causes of uterine catarrh”. Pechey then joined the College of Physicians in Ireland in May 1877. She worked as a doctor in Leeds and set up the Medical Women’s Federation, of which she was elected president in 1882.

The next year, Pechey moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) where she was in charge of the Jaffer Sulleman Dispensary for women, campaigned for women’s rights and started a nursing training programme. She married Herbert Musgrave Phipson in 1889. Ill-health and diabetes meant Pechey had to give up hospital work in 1894 but she continued her private practice. She also participated in public health measures to control bubonic plague and cholera. Pechey and her husband returned to England in 1905 where she joined the suffrage movement. In 1907 she was treated for breast cancer by May Thorne, Isabel Thorne’s daughter. Pechey died from cancer on 14 April 1908.

Sophia Jex-Blake, like Pechey, passed medical exams at the University of Bern in January 1877 and then qualified with King’s and Queen’s College of Physicians in Ireland. She became the third registered woman doctor in the UK when she registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in 1877. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to be registered with the GMC in 1859.

The former Edinburgh Hospital and Dispensary for Women, also known as the Bruntsfield Hospital. Kim Traynor [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Jex-Blake moved back to Edinburgh and in 1886 she established the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women, Elsie Inglis was one of her first students. Inglis founded the Edinburgh College of Medicine for Women in 1889. Jex-Blake’s School closed in 1898 when Inglis’ College gained access to clinical teaching at the Royal Infirmary. Jex-Blake continued to work at the Edinburgh Hospital and Dispensary for Women, which she’d founded in 1878, until 1899. Upon her retirement she and her partner Margaret Todd moved to East Sussex where Jex-Blake died on 7 January 1912.

Find out more about Pechey in this blog post:

Author- Madryn Riewer


The Life of Sophia Jex-Blake by Margaret Todd.

2 replies to “What did Pechey and Jex-Blake do after their studies in Edinburgh?”

  1. Emilie Vuillier says:

    Hi I am a french girl artist interest by history of medicine and even more interest by meeting your dream team. I am building a folder in order to propose The seven Edinburgh story as a BD or graphic novel for an editing House who created a collection to reveal woman’s fight under represented in history. I have two keys books and all the internet as sources for that (working on another story, an original one, more fantastic but also based in Edinburgh and the medical world, but sooner than the seven one). I would be so enchanted to meet you, why not on visio? (don’t have the money to move) in order to present you my project and why not compil ours informations. I am really interest in being the more accurated possible and if this project interest you, I would be pleased to share you my illustratrip. You can see one of my draw style on my insta at @ange.du.bizarre

    1. Neil Turner says:

      Just came across this in acres of spam and requested insta. Best wishes

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