Medical Definition of Women's hospital

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Women's hospital: A hospital for the exclusive use of women.

The first hospital called by that name was the Woman's Hospital of New York City. It opened in 1855. The hospital was founded by the Woman's Hospital Assn., a group of 30 women who held that there women needed a hospital to care exclusively for them.

In 1832, the Boston Lying-in Hospital (where "everyday is labor day") was founded specifically for labor and delivery. It and the Free Hospital for Women, founded in 1875, merged to form the Boston Hospital for Women.

The movement toward women's hospitals has declined. The tendency is now to integrate women's hospital into larger, more general hospitals. For example, the Boston Hospital for Women is now part of the Brigham and Women's Hospital, a nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. And the Women's Hospital in Baltimore and many other women's hospitals no longer exist as independent hospitals.

Reviewed on 10/30/2018

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