Who is Virginia Apgar?
Dr. Virginia Apgar (1909-1974) makes medical history as being among the first female doctors, and a person who made significant contributions to the fields of anesthesiology and obstetric medicine. Known as “Ginny” to her friends, she was much more than a doctor. Biographers label her as brilliant, a pioneer, an innovator, and very brave to withstand the prejudice against doctors who were anesthetists, and more particularly against the male chauvinism that was quite evident in her early years as a doctor. It might seem strange to say that at first, Virginia Apgar was a musician. She was a brilliant cellist and violinist, who in later years made her own instruments to continue pursuing just one of her passions. Her skill as a musician earned her a place in the orchestra of Mr. Holyoke College, where she pursued a degree in Zoology. Biographers suggest that Virginia Apgar was inspired to pursue medical school because of her own family history. When she was a child, one of her brothers di
var animation_p1=”/imagelib/sitebuilder/pictures/counters/”; Virginia Apgar, the woman behind the Apgar Test was born on June 7, 1909 in Westfield, New Jersey. She learned to love music just like her other family members. Virginia especially loved going into the basement where her father had built a telescope and pursued scientific experiments with electricity and radio waves. Perhaps because of her dad’s work, she decided to pursue a medical career. After she graduated high school, she went to Mount Holyoke College, where she struggled to support herself and because of that had to take on many jobs. She went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 1929. Virginia Apgar’s financial situation did not change as she enrolled at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City. Soon the Great Depression snuck up on everyone and, because she was determined to stay in school, she borrowed money to finish her classes. In 1933, she graduated with a medical degre
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