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Finding Aid for the Papers of Rose Alexander Bowers : U.S. Army contract surgeon 1918-1919
176  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Rose Alexander Bowers was born in 1887 and graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1909. From August 19th to November 15th, 1918, she served as a contract surgeon with the U.S. Army Medical Corps, assigned to Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois. Contract surgeons were civilians employed under contract in accordance with law, Army regulations, and executive orders, without military rank or status. Only nine were employed at the outbreak of World War I, but because of the medical emergency of the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, this number rose to 899 by November 1918. Women were used as contract surgeons for the first time during World War I; fifty-five women contract surgeons were employed at the time of the armistice. These papers span a period of barely three months. They include a few personal items, but the bigger portion consists of the daily information bulletins issued by the commanding medical officer of the camp hospital to which Dr. Bowers had been assigned. These messages convey with gripping directness the reality of the emergency faced by hospital personnel and how it was met.
Background
Rose Alexander Bowers was born in 1887. In 1909 she graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and was listed in the American Medical Directory first in 1911. From August 19th to November 15th, 1918, she served as a contract surgeon with the U.S. Army Medical Corps, assigned to Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois, participating in one of the great medical dramas of her time. By 1923 she was practicing in Whittier, California and soon moved to Los Angeles, where she continued a private practice specializing in neurology and psychiatry (also her husband's, Paul Eugene Bowers, specialty). Her last listing, as retired, was found in the American Medical Association Directory, 1969.
Extent
0.5 linear feet (1 document box)
Restrictions
Publication Rights
Availability
The collection is open for research. Contact the History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA, for information.