Dossibai Patell, c. 1912.
Dossibai Rustomji Cowasji Patell
16 October 1881
Navsara Chambers, Fort Bombay
|Died||4 February 1960(aged 78)|
|Education||Grant Medical College|
|Known for||First woman to become Member of the RCS in 1910|
|Sub-Specialties||Obstetrics and gynaecology|
Dossibai Rustomji Cowasji Patell MBE (16 October 1881 – 4 February 1960), later known as Dossibai Jehangir Ratenshaw Dadabhoy, was an Indian obstetrician and gynaecologist, who in 1910 became the first woman to become a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS).
Upon return to India, she established a career in obstetrics and gynaecology, advocated maternal and child welfare centres and petitioned for reducing infant mortality. In this role, she became active in a variety of societies, becoming the president of first the Bombay Obstetric and Gynaecological Society and later of the Association of Medical Women in India.
The Dossibai J. R. Dadabhoy oration is given in her memory.
Patell came from Navsara Chambers, Fort Bombay, India. In 1903, she completed her medical training at Grant Medical College, Bombay, from where she gained her Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery. She then assisted Sir Temulji Nariman and Dr. Masina in Bombay before persuading her parents to allow her to study abroad.
Life in London
Patell spent four years studying at the Royal Free Hospital in London and in May 1910, became the first woman to become a member (MRCS) of the Royal College of Surgeons, four years after women were allowed to sit the MRCS exam. In the same year she became the first woman licentiate (LRCP) of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). In 1911 she became a member of the RCP, three years after women were permitted to sit its exam and one year after Ivy Evelyn Woodward became the first woman member of the college.
Upon return to India in 1912, as Dossibai Jehangir Ratenshaw Dadabhoy she began a career in obstetrics and gynaecology, taking a particular interest in gynaecological malignancies. As a result, she was the first person in India to purchase, possess and distribute radium.
In 1924, she presented a paper on infant mortality, stating her opinion that more than two thirds of infant deaths were preventable and petitioned for reducing these fatalities. She also considered maternal mortality and advocated supervision throughout pregnancy and childbirth and the forming of maternal and child welfare centres.
She co-founded the Bombay Obstetric and Gynaecological Society, becoming its honorary joint secretary and later its president. She worked to establish other such societies across India which came together to form the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, of which she also became president.
In 1955, she presided over the eighth All India Obstetrics and Gynaecological Congress. As president of the Association of Medical Women in India between 1937–1947, she served on the Bhore Committee between 1942 and 1946, dealing with health development.
Death and legacy
She died on 4 February 1960. An oration is given in her memory, some of the past orators being:
- "Infant Mortality, its causes and how to Remedy it" in Report of the All India Social Service Conference. Bombay: Servants of India Society, 1924. pp. 65–75.
- "Critical Analysis of 669 Caesarian Sections in the Nowrosji Wadi Maternity Hospital, Bombay", Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India, Vol. IV, No. 2, December 1953.
- "Presidential Address", at the 8th All India Obstetrics & Gynaecology Congress, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India, Vol. V, No. 4, June 1955.
- "International Women's Day 2016". Royal College of Surgeons. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
- Chapter VIII Contribution of Women Physicians to Women's Health Care (PDF). 2008.
- "Dossibai J. R. Dadabhoy". The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India. 50. October 2000.
- "Full text of "A list of the fellows, members, extra-licentiates and licentiates of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 1859-"". archive.org. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
- Murray, Janet Horowitz; Stark, Myra (2017). The Englishwoman's Review of Social and Industrial Questions: 1909-1910. Routledge. ISBN 9781315394923.
- "Welcome to Malaysia's Premier Dental School | Faculty of Dentistry". dentistry.um.edu.my. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
- "History of the RCS — Royal College of Surgeons". Royal College of Surgeons. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
- Gifford, Zerbanoo (1991-03-01). The golden thread: Asian experiences of post-Raj Britain. Pandora Press. ISBN 9780044406051.
- Chemist and Druggist. Benn Brothers. 1911.
- O'Sullivan, Suzanne (September 2018). "Women in medicine: deeds not words". The Lancet. 392 (10152): 1002–1003. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32256-6. ISSN 0140-6736.(subscription required)
- "Admitted Members of the College". British Medical Journal. 1 (2627): 1090. 1911-05-06. ISSN 0007-1447. PMC 2333432.
- "Past | MRCPUK". www.mrcpuk.org. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
- Royal College of Physicians of London (1859). A list of the fellows, members, extra-licentiates and licentiates of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 1859-. London Royal College of Physicians. London : Royal College of Physicians of London.
- "Index of Graduates by Surname: D | British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
- Division, Publications (1935). Women of India. Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. ISBN 9788123022840.
- Clark, Sir George Norman; Cooke, A. M. (1972). A history of the Royal College of Physicians of London. Clarendon Press for the Royal College of Physicians.
- "The Medical Register: Untraceable Practitioners". The British Medical Journal. 2 (3690): 188–191. 1931. JSTOR 25340841.(subscription required)
- Ramanna, Mridula (2002). Western Medicine and Public Health in Colonial Bombay, 1845-1895. Orient Longmann. p. 204. ISBN 978-81-250-2302-9.
- London His Majesty’s Stationery Office. The India Office And Burma Office List 1945.
- "The Indian Honours List" (PDF). The Indian Medical Gazette: 116. February 1941.
- "Paul Devroey Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 27 October 2018.
- Purandare, C. N.; Patel, Madhuri A.; Balsarkar, Geetha (June 2012). "Indian Contribution to Obstetrics and Gynecology". Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India. 62 (3): 266–267. doi:10.1007/s13224-012-0270-5. ISSN 0971-9202. PMC 3444562. PMID 23730027.
- "Linda Cardozo Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). 2004.
- A List of the Fellows, Members, Extra-licentiates and licentiates of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 1859-1986, by Royal College of Physicians of London.
- "Bhore Report": Report of the Health Survey and Development.
- Media related to Dossibai Patell at Wikimedia Commons