Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi: India's first female physician
Blog By Chithra Prabhakaran | Aug 27 2018

Being the first in anything is truly a great achievement. But what if you create history just by being the first ever woman to study medicine in the era of British India. That's what Anandibai Joshi did. She was the first female doctor to graduate from abroad, in India. 

Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi was born in Pune, Maharashtra in 1865 during the pre independence days. She was originally named Yamuna and later on her husband named her Anandi.

Child marriages were rampant during those times and it was only natural that her parents got her married to Gopalrao, who was twenty years older than her, at the mere age of nine. Her stars were lucky because he was a very progressive husband and urged her to study medicine. That was the turning point in her life.

Anandibai received a lot of flak from the regressive Indian society of those times, when they learned of her desire to pursue higher education abroad. Along with her husband's support, Anandibai enrolled herself in the Woman's Medical College, Pennsylvania which was only the second women's medical programme in the world. 


Image credits


Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi was just nineteen when she began her medical training in obstetrics. She was even congratulated by Queen Victoria on her graduation. Unfortunately, her health deteriorated quickly due to tuberculosis and she died at the age of twenty two. Anandibai's life has been documented by Doordarshan in a Hindi series through their television channel. 

Her early contributions to the cause of advancing medical science in India has been honoured through an award given in her name, namely the Anandibai Joshi Award for Medicine, awarded by The Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS), a non-governmental organization from Lucknow. 

Anandi made her mark in the world of medicine and paved the way for other women to get up and spread their wings.   

Blog By Chithra Prabhakaran

Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Talk to Us

We Love to hear from you.

You talking to us would help us give you a better product.