Woman of the Century/Mary A. Brinkman
BRINKMAN, Mrs. Mary A., homeopathic physician, born in Hingham, Mass., 22nd February, 1845. She is of an old New England family, which has produced some of the ablest and best men and women that have given its high character to Massachusetts She is a woman who seems predestined by training, education, acquired knowledge and natural endowments to exert a wide and beneficent influence upon our time by the application of the truths of physiology to the physical welfare of women. This is shown alike by her lectures, her medical writings and her contributions to current literature She received only such educational advantages as were common to New England girls of forty years ago, but her quick intelligence and the enthusiasm with which she entered into her studies early marked her as one who would become an intellectual adornment to any society. On arriving at womanhood she visited Europe, where she devoted herself to study and travel. It was at that time her thoughts were first turned to the study of medicine. Believing that women physicians were demanded by the times, she determined to adopt the medical profession, not only as a means of livelihood, but also because it would enable her to do her part towards the physical regeneration of society. Soon after returning to this country, in 187 1, she entered as a student the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women. At her graduation, three years later, she was chosen the valedictorian of her class, and her medical thesis, which was a part of the final examination, was published in the "North American Journal of Homeopathy" and attracted considerable attention. After receiving hur diploma, she continued to take instruction in the clinical department of the hospital, under private tuition, but was almost immediately chosen instructor in diseases of children. From that time she continuously occupied one or another of the college chairs, averaging for half the year two lectures a week. In 1876, while retaining her professional chair in the Women's Medical College, she was appointed physician to the New York Dispensary for Women and Children, and later, to the college dispensary, and in those positions she did active service for several years. MARY A. BRINKMAN. The work was without compensation, but in doing it Dr. Brinkman was ministering to the poor of her own sex and also, as she believed contributing to form a public opinion which would open more avenues of usefulness to women. In 1881 she was chosen professor of diseases of women (gynaecology) in the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women. The trustees were slow to award the honors of the profession to women, even in a woman's college, and Dr. Brinkman was among the first to hold such a position. She filled it with success until forced by ill health to resign it, in 1889. Meanwhile she held other positions of honor and usefulness, being appointed, in 1886, visiting physician on the medical staff of the New York College for Women, and in 1880 consulting physician to the hospital. She has done a vast amount of gratuitous work for the needy, and in every possible way has labored to improve the condition and advance the cause of women, with a view to molding public sentiment to a broader outlook for her sex. Among these good works are the lectures she has given before women's clubs and societies. Another of her beneficent labors has been the course of lectures she has delivered on medical subjects to the young women of the Girl's Friendly Society of St. Thomas, St. James, and Calvary Churches, in New York City. In connection with this may be mentioned the Bible talks to workmen gathered from the streets, which from week to week, for one entire year, she gave under the auspices of the Galilee Mission of Calvary Church, which mission she helped to organize. These lectures were a decided aid in the progress of woman's work in the church, and as an object lesson to the uncultivated working men they undoubtedly led to their holding their wives in higher esteem and treating them with more consideration. Dr. Brinkman is an active member of many State and county societies, both medical and philanthropical, among which are the New York State and County Medical Societies, the Christian League for Promoting Social Purity, the New York Woman Suffrage Society, and the Society for Promoting the Welfare of the Insane. As associate member of the Girls' Friendly Society of the Episcopal Church she has done active work. This gratuitous labor for the public is the more noticeable from the fact that, during the greater part of the time in which it has been done, she has cared for a large and constantly increasing private practice. Dr. Brinkman has written articles for the medical journals which have extended her reputation among the profession. In her special line of work, the diseases of women, she is an authority, and no papers in medical journals give a more able, judicious and scientific treatment of their subject than do hers. Of late she has employed her leisure in literary work, for which she shows a brilliant aptitude. Her style is clear and marked by unusual terseness, euphony and impressiveness. On the subject in which she is most interested, the physicial education of our young women, she has written articles for the "North American Review" and other leading journals, which have attracted wide attention.