Other Early Washington University School of Medicine Alumnae

The Washington University School of Medicine graduating classes in the 1920s and 1930s typically included one to seven women. Several of the alumnae remained in St. Louis and Missouri to practice medicine.

Caroline Elizabeth Whitney (1899-1928)
Caroline E. Whitney
Caroline E. Whitney, 1928

Caroline Whitney received her A.B. degree from the University of Colorado in 1921. She entered the Washington University School of Medicine in 1920 as a second-year student, receiving her degree in 1924. The following year (1924-25) Whitney became the first female intern at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, working in the Obstetrical Service. Whitney then served as an intern at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. For the first six months of 1928 Whitney was an instructor in the Department of Anatomy at Washington University. She had been appointed to a yearly position as an instructor in Cytology beginning July 1, 1928. However, Caroline Whitney’s career was tragically cut short by her death on July 13, 1928 from tuberculosis.

Katherine Bain (1897- 1999)
Katherine Bain
Katherine Bain, early 1920s

Katherine Bain was born September 1, 1897, in St. Louis, Missouri. She received a bachelor of arts degree in Biology at the University of Missouri in 1920 and was the sole woman in her 1925 medical school class at Washington University School of Medicine. After an internship in San Francisco, Bain returned to St. Louis for a residency in Pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She then joined in private practice with her brother-in-law, Dr. Park J. White. Sharing a sense of outrage at the poor care given to African-American children, Dr. Bain and Dr. White ran the first racially integrated medical facility in St. Louis and fought to have African-American physicians admitted to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 1940 Bain moved to Washington, D.C. to join the federal Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare as director of the division of research in child development. In her 30+ years with the Children’s Bureau, Bain served as deputy chief and as assistant chief for International Cooperation. Bain was instrumental in alerting the public about the dangers of childhood poisoning, and her reports led to the development of child-proof safety caps. She also supervised the preparation of the best-selling government publication, “Infant Care,” of which over 50 million copies were distributed. In 1963 President Kennedy appointed Bain to represent the United States on the Executive Board of UNICEF. She served in that position until her retirement from government service in 1972. Bain died on January 10, 1999 at the age of 101.

Frances H. Stewart (1904-1987)

A native of St. Louis and a nationally known expert on family planning, Frances Helen Stewart was one of four women to receive medical degrees from the Washington University School of Medicine in 1927. She interned in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the St. Louis Maternity Hospital for one year, and then moved to Detroit for her residency. Stewart returned to St. Louis in the early 1930s and was involved in the creation of the area’s first contraceptive clinic, the Maternal Health Association of Missouri. In the early 1940s the clinic changed its name to the Planned Parenthood Clinic of St. Louis and became associated with the national organization. At first the clinic only saw white, married women who had been referred by a physician or social worker. Over the course of many years, unmarried and non-white women gained access. Stewart later served as medical director of Planned Parenthood of St. Louis.

In addition to her private obstetrics and gynecology practice, Stewart was on the faculty of the Washington University School of Medicine as an instructor in Obstetrics and Gynecology for over 40 years, retiring in 1977. She was also active on the staffs of the St. Louis City and County Health Departments in the area of family planning, and a founding fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Stewart died January 19, 1987, following a cardiac arrest.

There were 7 women among the 91 graduates receiving medical degrees from the Washington University School of Medicine in June 1934. Four of the nine members of that class graduating with cum laude honors were women. Two of those honors graduates were Helen Margaret Aff and Dorothy Jeannette Jones.

Helen Aff-Drum (1908 - 2007)
Helen Aff-Drum
Helen Aff-Drum, 1984

A native of St. Louis, Helen Margaret Aff-Drum received both her B.S. in Medical Science and M.D. from Washington University in 1934. After interning at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Aff-Drum served a residency at Johns Hopkins University and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Aff-Drum then returned to St. Louis in 1938 to join the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine as assistant in Clinical Pediatrics. Dr. Aff-Drum retired as associate professor (clinical) emeritus in 1977. Her professional career focused on children, tuberculosis and public health.

Aff-Drum maintained a private practice from 1938 until 1964, sharing an office with her husband, Dr. C.G. Drum until his death in 1960. In 1945 Aff-Drum became the school physician for the Clayton School District, a position she held until 1985. After her retirement from private practice, Aff-Drum worked for the Labor Health Institute, the St. Louis County Children’s Tuberculosis Clinic, and county health clinics in nearby Valley Park, Warren County, and Troy, Missouri. Aff-Drum was in charge of tuberculosis control for the St. Louis County Department of Community Health and Medical Care, served two terms as president of the American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri, and directed the St. Louis County Children’s Chest Clinic. In 1989 Aff-Drum received the Washington University Alumni Award and in 1995 she received the St. Louis Pediatric Society’s Excellence in Pediatrics Award.

Dorothy Jeannette Jones (1908 – 1993)
Dorothy Jeannette Jones
Dorothy Jeannette Jones, 1966

Dorothy Jeannette Jones, a native of St. Louis, earned her bachelor’s degree in 1930 from Oberlin College prior to entering the Washington University School of Medicine. After an internship at the Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and residencies at New Haven Hospital in Connecticut and Johns Hopkins Hospital, Jones returned to St. Louis in 1937 to join the staff of St. Louis Children’s Hospital as an assistant in Clinical Pediatrics. A pioneer in the treatment of tuberculosis, Jones founded the St. Louis County Children’s Chest Clinic in 1950.

Jones taught in the Washington University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics for over 20 years, retiring as associate professor emeritus and lecturer in 1977. In 1963 she was appointed chief of Outpatient Care at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and held that post until 1974. From 1979 until 1986 Jones taught in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioners program at the Washington University School of Medicine. Dorothy Jones received the WU Alumni Achievement Award in 1988.