This Article First Appeared In The Scroll On Nov 1, 2023
The story of how Ida Sophia Scudder became a doctor is as poignant as it is disquieting.
Sometime in 1890, a late-night knock on her door in Tindivanam in present-day Tamil Nadu woke her up. There was a man standing outside, begging for help for his 14-year-old wife, who was about to give birth. Scudder told him she was no doctor, her father was. The man’s face turned stony: tradition didn’t allow his wife to be examined by a male doctor.