Thursday, October 26, 2006

Daphne Parsons, 1925-2006

Daphne Parsons was the first Newfoundland woman to to become a doctor and return home to practice. She was born in Botwood, NL on May 22, 1925 and attended Dalhousie from 1946-1950 with 13 other Newfoundlanders, and two women out of a class size of 47 in a time when it was assumed women were studying for degrees in childbirth and marriage.

She said "Only one professor made me her feel different and that their was no sex in medicine, there was no difference in who wore pants and wore a skirt".

Dr. Parsons created quite a ruckus a few years into her career when she created a situation which forced the government to establish pay equity for male and female doctors. She went as far to refuse a post with the Ministry of Health because they paid women $500 less a year and instead went to work for a TB sanatorium. Later the ministry asked her if she would take the job if they pay her the "same as a man".

She married in 1959 and was diagnosed with MS in the 1970's and was never hospitalised for the condition. It did not interfere with her intellectual pursuits.

Dr. Parson's died on July 19, 2006. She leaves her husband David and sons Keith, Ean, and Andrew. Recommend this Post