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Augusta Stowe Gullen

After graduating from Victoria College (in Cobourg, Ontario) in 1883, Augusta Stowe Gullen (the first woman to legally practise medicine in Canada) secured a teaching position at the Women's Medical College. By 1909 she was a founding member of Women's College Hospital in Toronto. One day, a visitor remarked upon the hospital's extensive female staff and asked whether everyone in the hospital was female. "Of course not," Gullen replied. "Half the babies born are male."

[After enduring daily taunts from fellow students and faculty, Gullen one day exploded in the classroom. "Surely you've had enough fun out of my being here," she exclaimed. "Surely you can see that all I want to do is to learn about medicine without disturbing anybody -- just to do my work quietly. I don't interfere with you, or bother you. Don't you think the time has come to get some other form of entertainment? For sweet pity's sake, won't you let me be?" A long silence ensued, finally broken by a question from the instructor. "Can the class begin, young lady?"]

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