Doctor or Doctress?

Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians


Doctor or Doctress presents primary source sets ("stories") composed of the sources left behind by women physicians from history.

Complete with both student and teacher supports, each story may provide a valuable and engaging angle from which to study significant moments and themes in the historical timeline.

Story features

Primary Sources

Letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, and more sorted into Essential Evidence and related sources 

Student Supports

Introductory video and text, audio transcripts of featured sources, document and story-level questions to encourage multiple levels of analysis

Companion Teaching Guides

Activity suggestions, discussion questions, lesson plans, suggested outside resources


Project-based learning

Individual student research

Class-wide projects

Teachers may use Doctor or Doctress stories to create engaging, primary source-driven projects for their classes. For example:

  • In a U.S. women's history class, a digital documentary research project asked students to use the sources within a Doctor or Doctress story as the starting point for research for a documentary about the individuals, groups, or events from the sources
  • In an English composition class, students analyzed sources showcasing the multiple perspectives on women medical students in 1869 in Pioneers in the Face of Adversity: “The Mob of ‘69” and used evidence from those documents to compose a "Defeat or Defend?" essay on the issue of the inclusion of women in the medical field