The Feminine Touch: History of Women in Osteopathic Medicine

Thomas A. Quinn


Thomas Quinn, DO, showcases some of the valiant women who rose above adversity to become osteopathic doctors in those early years, and includes prominent women osteopathic physicians up to the present time.

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In 1892, Andrew Taylor Still did the unimaginable when he accepted women and men equally in his newly opened American School of Osteopathy. Thomas Quinn, DO, showcases some of the valiant women who rose above adversity to become osteopathic doctors in those early years, and includes prominent women osteopathic physicians up to the present time. The stories of their fight against the inequality of the sexes in medicine are intertwined with the struggles of osteopathy to be accepted as a valid scientific practice, illuminating the innovative and determined individuals who helped osteopathic medicine develop into the flourishing profession it is today.

The Feminine Touch is an exceptional overview on the numerous contributions women have made to osteopathic medicine. Dr. Quinn provides interesting anecdotes and a review of the history of osteopathic medicine.

—RADM Joyce Johnson, DO (USPHS, ret.)

I appreciate this comprehensive presentation of one more aspect of our profession that sets us apart.

–Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, CS President,
American Osteopathic Association

With significant changes in healthcare facing twenty-first-century physicians, women stand in the vanguard of a new era in osteopathic practice. Dr. Thomas Quinn brilliantly guides the reader through their arduous journey and through the winds of change that have brought women to the forefront of medicine. This is their time, this is their story, and The Feminine Touch tells it with sincerity and aplomb.

—Silvia M. Ferretti, DO, Provost, VP,
Dean of Academic Affairs,
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine


Preface and Acknowledgments

Women and Medical Education
Women and the Founding of Osteopathic Medicine
The Early Years of Osteopathy, 1895–1929
The Middle Years of Osteopathic Medicine, 1930–1964
The Modern Era of Osteopathic Medicine, 1965 to Present
Women in Osteopathic Research
Women Osteopathic Physicians in the Uniformed Services
Osteopathic Nurses
Women Influential to Osteopathic Medicine



About the Author


Thomas A. Quinn, DO, FAOCOPM, is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is board certified in occupational medicine and family practice. Dr. Quinn is on the faculty of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida. He is married with two children and two grandchildren.

See his website.

Article about Dr. Quinn and his work


Thomas Quinn has written a truly remarkable book. He delves into the importance of women in the osteopathic profession in purely eloquent and concise language.... The reader is treated to delightfully readable accounts of notable female osteopathic physicians, from the beginning of the profession to the present day....I am grateful to Dr. Quinn for providing such a well-organized, well-researched gem, and I will definitely recommend this book to our osteopathic medical school applicants, as well as currently enrolled student.

AAO Journal, September 2011

Quinn’s book presents the stories of the women who became osteopathic doctors despite the adversity and sexism they faced. Interspersed with these women’s stories is the history of osteopathy’s struggles to be accepted as true scientific practice. The book provides a rich overview of the contributions women physicians, nurses, researchers, and historians have made to osteopathic medicine alongside the larger history of osteopathic medicine.


The book showcases some of the valiant female osteopathic doctors and their fight against the inequalities of the sexes in medicine. The PBS TV documentary, The Feminine Touch: Women In Osteopathic Medicine, is scheduled for release in early 2013.

—La Salle Magazine

The Feminine Touch gives a good overview of the osteopathic profession and an excellent examination of women’s place within it.  Thomas Quinn’s book, moreover, is written clearly and is accessible to the general reader.... Thomas Quinn’s The Feminine Touch adds a needed component to the history of medicine—the overlapping struggles of women and osteopathy to be accepted in the medical profession.

The CCWH Newsletter, Vol. 43.2

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