Pierra Vejjabul

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Pierra Vejjabul
Born (1909-11-27)27 November 1909[1]
Lampang, Thailand
Died 1984
Education MD, University of Paris
Known for Mother-and-child welfare
Medical career
Profession Physician
Institutions Venereal Diseases and Leprosy Control Division, Ministry of Public Health
Notable prizes Order of the White Elephant

Pierra Vejjabul (Thai: เพียร เวชบุล, born Pierra Hoon,[nb 1] 27 November 1898 – 1984) was the first female physician of Thailand.[2]

Pierra was born in Lampang, Thailand to Trongkij Hoontrakul, a well-to-do merchant, and Phant Hoontrakul, who was his third wife. She was the last child of the family. She was educated in Bangkok at Saovabha and Saint Joseph Convent Schools, and graduated from secondary school in 1925. She then took up a teaching position at Assumption Convent and Saint Joseph Convent Schools.[3]

Inspired to study medicine by a French doctor who helped her mother, upon graduation Pierra had applied for training at the Medical School at Siriraj Hospital, but was rejected as the school did not accept females at the time.[3] At the age of sixteen, against her father's wishes, she left for Saigon, where she studied French for one year with the support of Catholic nuns. She then left for France, where she obtained a medical education at the University of Paris, graduating in 1936 and then returning to practise in Thailand.[1]

Under her influence, prostitution was outlawed by the Thai government in the early 1960s.

She later took a position in the Thai Ministry of Public Health's Department of Venereal Diseases.[4]

She later adopted the surname Veijjabul,[nb 2] which was granted by Princess Mother Srinagarindra during the premiership of Plaek Pibulsonggram.


  1. ^ Hoontrakul in Thai
  2. ^ The meaning of this word is unclear, some sources having "great woman doctor" and others having "complete doctor".


  1. ^ a b Windsor, Laura Lynn (2002). Women in medicine: an encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 203–4. ISBN 1-57607-392-0. 
  2. ^ Flemming, RM (1951). "Pierra Hoon Vejjabul, M.D.; first woman doctor of Thailand". J Am Med Womens Assoc. 6 (7): 279. PMID 14850341. 
  3. ^ a b "Biography of Dr. Pierra Vejjabul". Pierra Maternity & Child Welfare Foundation website. Pierra Maternity & Child Welfare Foundation. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Eron, Carol (1979). "Women in Medicine and Health Care". In O'Neill, Lois Decker. The Women's Book of World Records and Achievements. Anchor Press. p. 210. ISBN 0-385-12733-2. First Woman Physician of Thailand 


  • The Christian herald, v. 87 (1964) [1], reprinted in: Reader's Digest, v. 85, no. 508, Aug. 1964 [2]