1939 – “Hold still Anne, while I wash the blood off your arm,” said her Aunt.
Uncle Fred asked, “What happened this time?”
Cousin Freddie said, “She was trying to ride my bike and cracked it up.”
Anne said, “I didn’t crack it up. Just go straighten your handle bars and keep them tight for a change.”
Uncle Fred said, “Anne, that’s a boy’s bike. You don’t need to ride it. Wait til you get home and ride your own girl’s bike.”
Anne said, “That’s unfair. Freddie rides my bike when he comes over to the house.”
Aunt Effie said, “Give up Fred. She’s a determined little girl.”
1943 – The high school Guidance Counselor welcomed the new freshmen, “In high school, if you work hard and dream big, you can be whatever you want to be. Tell me your dreams.”
When Anne’s turn came she said, “I want to be a doctor.”
The Counselor said, “You know girls can’t be doctors. That’s for men. You want to be the best wife and mother you can be.”
Anne said, “That’s unfair. I AM going to be a doctor!”
1950 – Anne’s college advisor said, “You have done quite well in your first two years here. Have you decided on your major?”
Anne said, “I want the pre-med courses in science and math. I’m going to go to med school.”
The Counselor said, “That’s a man’s field. You need to go into nursing.”
Anne said, “You didn’t let me finish. I’m going to be a missionary doctor and go to Africa to Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s hospital in Lambarene.”
“Well, you are one determined young lady. I’ll sign you up for pre-med.”
1952 – The Dean of Admissions of the Medical School said, “Anne, I have your application here. Your college grades are good, but we only have four slots for women. I’ll have to consult with the head of Obstetrics for his opinion on your admission,”
Anne said, “How many places are there for men?”
The Dean said, “96”.
Anne held her tongue and said, “Why do you need to talk with the head of Obstetrics? I really want to go into surgery and not Obstetrics.”
The Dean said, “That’s a man’s job. We don’t have any women surgeons. I’ll get back with you.”
The Dean called the head of Obstetrics and asked for his opinion. “What is it with these women who think they can be doctors. All they do is get married, have kids, and drop out, if they ever even get into practice.”
The Dean got back to Anne, “Some of the faculty have reservations about you, but you are one determined woman. That’s what it takes to make it here. We’ll accept you.”
May 1957 – Graduation from medical school. January 1958 – marriage.
February 1960 – First child. July 1961 to January 1974 – seven more children.
June 2006 – Certificate of Recognition from the Kentucky Medical Association for FIFFTY years in practice in Kentucky.
June 2007 – Award for FIFTY years as Board Certified Family Physician from the American Academy of Family Practice.
A determined little girl fulfilled her dreams. My wife, Dr. Mary Anne Woodring did not “drop out”.