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Newspaper article on Margaret Henderson - Young Doctor Returns

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1938.

Woman 's Realm

YOUNG DOCTOR
RETURNS.

Miss M. Henderson's Success.

DR. Margaret Henderson returned
to her home in Perth by the West-
land express yesterday morning after
completing her medical course at Mel-
bourne University. After winning the
modern languages exhibition from the
Presbyterian Ladies' College, she then be-
gan her course at the University of West-
ern Australia and later shared three ex-
hibitions in anatomy, physiology and
pathology in Melbourne. She concluded
her course in distinguished fashion this
year by sharing the Douglas Stephens
Prize for Diseases of Children with Dr.
Karl Georgeff, shortly to be a resident
doctor at Perth Hospital, sharing the
Heaney Scholarship in surgery with first
class honours and also gaining honours
in medicine and gynaecology with third
place among this year's graduates.
Asked whether women students were
handicapped in any way on account of
their sex, Dr. Henderson replied in the
negative, saying that they were treated
on a par with the men students and given
equal chances. About 10 per cent of the
medical students were women and taking
the results on the whole, women were

more successful than men. Most women
doctors, Dr. Henderson said, did not en-
counter any prejudice where sex was con-
cerned until after they had started in
general practice. In the larger public
hospitals, however, no discrimination
whatever was being made where the em-
ployment of men and women was con-
cerned.
There was no reason why a prejudice
should exist, Dr. Henderson maintained,
and the fact that a student was a woman
should in no way be a bar to her suc-
cess in almost any sphere of medicine,
providing that her physical and mental
capabilities were up to the standard re-
quired for men. Dr. Henderson consid-
ered that in the next 20 years or so, it was
probable that the bulk of gynaecologlcal
and obsteric work would fall into the
hands of women doctors.
Although not what one might term an
ultra-feminist, Dr. Henderson does main-
tain that if university graduates marry,
the right should not be denied them to
continue with their jobs If they so de-
sire. "I think that if the jobs are not
retained, assets which the State cannot
afford to lose are being wasted," she said.
"In any case, it costs the State a cer-
tain amount for the course, as the fees
do not cover all expenses, and the suc-
cessful student is left with more or less
of a liability which he or she should use
to the best of advantage." Every gradu-
ate, Dr. Henderson said, should be con-
scious of her responsibility to the com-
munity. When a woman married and
continued her job, she often created em-
ployment for other people and usually
employed domestic workers in her own
home to do work for, which she herself
had not been trained and was not suited.
Dr. Henderson has as yet made no de-
finite decisions regarding her future. She
hopes to return to Melbourne in February
in order to gain experience. She finds
children's work most attractive and also
considers pathology as a suitable field for
women. There were several successful
women pathologists in Melbourne, she
said, foremost among them being Dr. Hilda
Gardiner, haematologist at the Melbourne
Hospital.

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