The best known of the French accoucheurs was Francois Mauriceau (1637—1670), whose name is known to modern-day obstetricians by the call. Howard Atwood Kelly was the youngest of the four founders of Johns Hopkins, including William Halstead, William Osler and William Welch. In October 1889, Kelly was appointed the first professor of gynecology and obstetrics, and it is universally considered that he established gynecology as a surgical specialty. He was a pioneer in the creation of many innovative techniques, including the Kelly tweezers and the Kelly stitch.
Kelly's skill as a surgeon, his detailed publications and his originality contributed to his reputation as one of the best gynecologists of his time. The Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics continues to honor Kelly's legacy through its Kelly Alumni Society, the Kelly Gynecological Oncology Service and the annual Kelly conference. Learn more about pages for offline publishers. His medical colleagues have been some of the most prominent advocates for J.
Marion Sims, the controversial “father of gynecology”. The first serious challenge to the demonisation of the Sims appeared in a 1976 book by historian G. J. Barker-Benfield entitled The Horrors of the Half-Known.
Barker-Benfield juxtaposed Sims' “extremely active and adventurous policy” of surgically interfering with women's sexual organs with his considerable ambition and self-interest. The man who once admitted that “if there was one thing he hated it was researching the organs of the female pelvis”, dedicated himself to gynecology with a “monomania” when he realized that it was his ticket to fame and fortune, writes Barker-Benfield. Another doctor, Irwin Kaiser, in a more moderate defense, asked the audience to consider how the Sims ultimately helped the enslaved women he experimented with. The surgery he performed on Lucy, Anarcha, Betsey and the other enslaved women was to repair a vesicovaginal fistula, a devastating complication of prolonged labor.
When a baby's head presses on the birth canal for too long, tissue can die from lack of blood and form a hole between the vagina and the bladder. The condition can be embarrassing, as women who have it can't control their urination. He concluded that Sims was “a product of its time.