Significant Information

Notable Achievements

We want to recognise the women who were the first to achieve specific milestones and who paved the way for others.
NameAchievementYear achieved
Emily Hancock Siedeberg-McKinnonFirst woman medical graduate in New Zealand1896
Margaret Barnett Cruickshank BiographyFirst registered woman medical practitioner in New Zealand1897
Alice Horsley (nee Woodward)First woman medical graduate to practice in Auckland and first woman private practitioner.1900, 1903
Daisy Elizabeth Platts-Mills (nee Platts)First woman to establish a Private Practice in Wellington1901
Winifrede Ismay BathgateFirst Otago Medical School graduate of either sex to be appointed to Dunedin Hospital (Position: Assistant Surgeon)1906
Catharine Louisa Brookfield (nee Will)First woman house surgeon at Dunedin Hospital1911
Mary Francesca Compere DowlingFirst woman to be awarded the New Zealand Medical Travelling Scholarship for Overseas Tuition1915
Augusta Manoy (nee Klippel)First Jewish woman medical graduate1922
Marion Aroha Radcliffe-TaylorFirst Woman Orthopaedic SurgeonActing Surgeon: 1924
Qualified: 1930
Doris Clifton Gordon (nee Jolly)First Woman in New Zealand & Australia to secure a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons. 1925
Kathleen Pih-Chang (Bi Zhen-Wah)First Chinese and first non-European woman medical graduate1929
Pauline Catherine Simcock (nee Aitken and Witherow)First New Zealand Woman to gain a Diploma of Bacteriology1931
Alice Mary Bush (nee Stanton)First NZ-trained woman to gain membership to the Australasian College of Physicians and first NZ-trained woman to gain a Fellowship for the Royal College of Physicians in London.1946; 1970
Rina Winifred Moore (nee Rōpiha)First Māori woman medical graduate1948
Doris Clifton Gordon (nee Jolly)Honorary Fellowship for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists1953
Papali’i Viopapa “Vio” Annandale-AthertonFirst Pacific woman medical graduate1964
Dr Mavis Laline MacDougall (nee McClymont)First New Zealand and Australasian woman to Specialise in Venereology (Diploma in Venereology from the University of Liverpool)1971
Barbara Farnsworth Heslop (nee Cupit)Believed to be the first New Zealand trained woman to receive an Associate Professorship in a Department of Surgery1972
Margaret Winn Guthrie (nee Hoodless, Wray)First woman medical superintendent of a major New Zealand hospital (Burwood Hospital)1973
Hendrika (Enny) Jacoba Waal-ManningSecond New Zealand Woman to complete an MD1975
Margaret Stuart Smith (nee Riddell)First Woman President of the New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists1976
Dame Cecily Mary Wise Pickerill (nee Clarkson)First medical dame1977
Barbara Farnsworth Heslop (nee Cupit)First New Zealand trained woman employed as Professor of Surgery at the University of Otago1984
Robin Helen BriantFirst Woman Chair of the New Zealand Medical Council1990
Dame Norma RestieauxFirst woman president of the New Zealand Medical Association and second medical dame1991; 1992


First Medical Program

Below is the medical program at the Otago Medical School that the first women graduates went through.
1st WinterBiology, Physics, Inorganic Chemistry
1st SummerPreliminary Hospital Instruction
2nd WinterAnatomy, Chemistry (intermediate examination)
2nd SummerMateria Medica, Surgical Wards, Post Mortem Examinations
3rd WinterAnatomy, Physiology, Surgery, Surgical Wards, P. M. Examinations (First Professional Examination)
3rd SummerMateria Medica, Pharmacy, Gynaecology or Midwifery, P.M. Examinations (First Professional Examination)
4th WinterPhysiology, Pathology, Practice of Medicine, Medical Wards, Outpatient Department. P.M. Examinations, Midwifery Practice (Second Professional Examination)
4th SummerMidwifery or Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Children’s Diseases, Vaccination, Insanity, Eye Wards, Gynaecology Wards, Diseases of Skin, Out-Patient Department
5th WinterSurgery, Practice of Medicine, Medical Jurisprudence, Public Health, All Departments of the Hospital (Third Professional Examination)
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