A Chat with Susan Macatee

Thanks, Cynthia, for hosting me on your blog today!

In my new post Civil War romance release, Cassidy’s War, the heroine, Cassidy Stuart, aspires to attend medical school in an era where female physicians were highly discouraged.

After applying and being rejected from theUniversityofPennsylvaniainPhiladelphia, she applied to a college established just for women to study to be doctors. Although my story is fiction, the college is real and existed in the time period of the story.

Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania was founded in 1850 inPhiladelphia. Originally, it was known as the Female Medical School of Pennsylvania. This school was the first medical school for women. The school offered its students a respected MD degree. Prior to this women practicing medicine were midwives or trained in the homeopathic methods.

At its start, the college faced much opposition, but gained respectability when a member of the first graduating class, Anne Preston, M.D. founded the Women’sHospitalofPhiladelphia.

One of the founders of Female Medical, Joseph P. Longshore, told the first eight graduating students “this day forms an eventful epoch in the history of your lives, in the history of woman, in the history of the race.”

Longshore, a Quaker, opposed slavery and was a champion of women’s rights. His sister-in-law, Hannah Longshore, was a graduate of the first class and served as a “demonstrator in anatomy.”

The Women’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded by a group of Quaker woman in 1861, because women were denied access to most forms of hospital training, including surgery. Emeline Horton Cleveland, the first resident of Woman’s Hospital, became one of the first women surgeons in theU.S.and performed major gynecologic procedures.

ThePhiladelphiaandPennsylvaniamedical societies would not admit Women’sMedicalCollegegraduates. Those graduates were even banned from consulting with women physicians.

In 1875, graduates formed an Alumnae Association. By 1895, they had 300 members. These women supported and defended the college during a difficult period. The college expanded in laboratory offerings in the 1890s. The alumnae offered free care to poor women and children, and more “clinical material” to its present students, as well as graduates.

Despite opposition and financial problems, the historic women’s school survived the early 20th century through alumnae support. And this was in an era where other women’s medical schools were closing.

It wasn’t until 1969 that the college was forced to admit male students to ease financial pressures.

Blurb: The Civil War is over, but Cassidy’s War is just beginning.

Cassidy Stuart longs to attend medical school. Training beside her physician father and serving as a nurse during the war have only increased her desire to be a doctor with her own practice. When the man who left her at the altar returns, she’s determined not to let him upset the plans she’s set for herself.

Until his mission is accomplished, George Masters must hide his identity as a Pinkerton agent as he investigates a physician living in George’s former hometown, a short distance from Cassidy’s home. When he finds Cassidy hasn’t married, he hopes he can rekindle their love while trying to protect her and the townsfolk from the evil Dr. Madison.

Can their love be renewed despite the villain’s desire for revenge against them both?


He propped her against the wall, removed his hat, and lowered his mouth to hers. Before she could utter a protest, his tongue pressed against her lips, trying to push them apart.

She shoved with all her strength. “Dr. Madison! I must insist you take me home. Now!” She struggled to keep her breath even as she watched his smoldering expression grow cold.

He leaned away from her, pushing his hand through his hair, then settled his bowler back on his head. “You must forgive me, Miss Stuart. I should never have taken such liberties. But your beauty has mesmerized me.”

“Please take me home. Now.”

Madisontightened his grip on her wrist. Movement outside the alley drew her startled gasp.

George raced to her side and yankedMadison’s hand from her arm. “Take your hands off her, you filthy scum!”

Madison’s eyes widened. “See here!”

Before he could utter another word, George raised his fist and slammed it into the doctor’s face.

“George, don’t!” Cassidy cried.

George paid no attention. Madison growled and swung at George. He ducked and the doctor swung again, this time connecting with George’s jaw and knocking them both to the ground.

The two wrestled and grunted, rolling around in the dirt.

Cassidy stepped to the edge of the alley, her heart thudding. No pedestrians strolled by. Wringing her hands, she turned back. She had to stop this herself.

“Will you please stop acting like school boys or common ruffians?” She glared at them, hands fisted on her hips.

“I won’t let you hurt Cassie, you pompous ass,” George ground out.

“Looks to me like you already have,”Madisonspat.

George swung and connected with the doctor’s nose.

A loud crunch drew a gasp from Cassidy.

George glanced up, his lip curled upward. He rose to his feet, breathing hard.

Dr. Madison lay flat on his back, cradling his bloodied nose in both hands.

“George Masters!” Cassidy glared into his dark eyes. “Just what are you doing?”

“He—I…” George arched a brow. “He had you alone in a dark alley. What am I supposed to think?”

She lifted her fisted hands to rest on her hips. “So you punched him?”

“Well…he hit me, too.” He rubbed his jaw.

Cassidy’s War available from The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_135&products_id=4729

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cassidys-War-ebook/dp/B006VX48FS/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1326644295&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cassidys-war-susan-macatee/1108210226?ean=2940013754980&itm=1&usri=cassidy%27s+war

and All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cassidy039swar-672840-158.html

Find out  more about me, read the opening chapters of my new release and learn about my other books at my website: http://susanmacatee.com

14 thoughts on “A Chat with Susan Macatee

  1. Hi, Susan! Followed you over here. Congratulations on your book! What an interesting topic and loved the background information.

    • Hi, Vicki! And thanks! This book is really close to my heart, since the characters are based on the first novel I ever had published. That book is now out of print, but the characters live on in this new story.

  2. This information on the medical school is amazing. I know I have a book of women in my area that talked about the first woman doctor. She was accepted and worked for years in her professional. I would imagine she must have attended that school. the next time I get it out, I will have to see.

    • Thanks, Linda! And no, unfortunately, it did survive for many years as a teaching hospital and was forced to take on male students to survive, but ultimately, wasn’t able to survive in this century.

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