History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar “What the Women Can Do:” Doctors’ Wives and the American Medical Association’s Crusade Against Socialized Medicine 18 February 2020.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Kelly O’Donnell, Thomas Jefferson University Comment: Olivia Weisser, University of Massachusetts, Boston Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/wgs_banner.jpg

In the mid-twentieth century, the American Medical Association opposed attempts to create a national health program in this country, through lobbying and public outreach about the dangers of socialized medicine. Their most powerful weapon in this fight was a less conventional medical instrument: their wives. This paper examines the mobilization of the AMA Woman’s Auxiliary as the main “public relations firm” of organized medicine during these debates and their lingering influence on American health politics.