Dr. Gloria Schrager has written a revealing memoir about her struggle to become a doctor at a time when women physicians were an anomaly. The era she has lived through has been incredibly eventful: she relates how the Great Depression, World War II, the McCarthy Unamerican Activities Committee, the overt bias and harassment that women in the professions had to face, all impacted on her life. But the memoir has a lighter side, recounting some of the adventures and mishaps of medical school, internship, maintaining a successful marriage and raising a family while engaged in the full-time practice of medicine. Both of her sons as well as a niece and grandniece have become physicians, and the book describes some the differences, both good and bad, between the practice of medicine today and how it was practiced over fifty years ago.
Dr. Gloria O. Schrager began her education in a one-room schoolhouse of a small Adirondack village during the Great Depression. For her higher educaton,she was sent to live with relatives in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated Brooklyn College in 1944. She decided to become a doctor at a time when few women went to medical school, and had to face many obstacles in her struggle for acceptance, first as a student and then as a doctor. Dr. Schrager earned her M.D. from the Woman´s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1948. She met her future husband, Alvin J. Schrager, MD, during her internship,and after finishing postgraduate training, they started a private practice in Westfield, NJ. Their two sons have become physicians, as have a niece and grandniece, establishing three generations of doctors in the family. In 1972, she left private practice to become the full-time Director of Pediatrics at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ, where she founded the Pediatric Residency Training Program. She retired in 1989 but still maintains her teaching contacts at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics. Dr. Schrager is the author of two books, The Complex Life of a Woman Doctor, and Rebecca and her Brothers