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Mary Walker Essay

2298 words - 10 pages


By: Rebecca


March 2, 2013

I chose Mary Edwards Walker as my leader for this final project. I have always enjoyed reading a little bit of military history and I always look for stories about people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty or went against the grain. In my opinion, she really set the bar high for other women to follow, and I find her to be an exemplary leader and role model for other women in the business world.
Mary Walker was born on November 26, 1832 in Oswego, New York (Unknown, Women in History ). She can accredit her leadership style and personality to her father, Alvah. Her father was a farmer, abolitionist, and a ...view middle of the document...

She was the only woman in her graduating class, and only the second female doctor in the nation (Unknown, Women in History ).
Shortly after graduation she went to her aunt’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio to open her own private medical practice. She was forced to close her practice and moved back to New York because women were not respected or trusted as doctors, and in 1856 she married one of her fellow college classmates, Albert Miller (Unknown, Mary Edwards Walker 2010). Their ceremony did not include the phrase “promise to obey,” she did not take his name, and her wedding attire was trousers and a dress-coat. They moved to Rome, New York to set up a joint medical practice but again society was not able to handle a female doctor so they were forced to close; in the end their marriage only lasted thirteen years (Unknown, Mary Edwards Walker Civil War Doctor).
When the news of the losses from the Battle of Bull Run in July of 1861 reached Mary, she knew that she had finally found her calling and went to Washington, D.C. to offer her services (Unkown 2006). Mary finally arrived in October and found the Capital overflowing with sick and wounded soldiers in the makeshift hospitals that were set up wherever there was room . Ironically enough, Mary was denied to work as a medical officer for the Army. However, her strong will and determination to help and use her valuable skills she acquired from her medical degree led her to volunteer as a nurse where she eventually became the assistant surgeon to the hospital that was set up in the U.S. Patent Office. Due to her volunteer status Mary was able to move about freely and decided to organize the Women’s Relief Association, which provided lodging for the wives, mothers, and children of the soldiers.
Dr. Mary Walker’s vision was simple, be true to yourself and never give up on your dreams. Mary lived by the creed, “whatever is right and true” (Harris 5). She maintained this vision throughout her entire career and life and proved that she was followed the behavior leadership style—leaders are predominately made depending on the external and internal environments. Mary’s childhood with a father that was both supportive and an idealist, led to her becoming headstrong in her values to be seen as an equal to her male counterparts. She learned from an early age that women were seen as inferior through society’s rules/norms on how females were to dress, the type of career they were supposed to have. Women were not to be outspoken and were expected to obey their husbands, and divorce was not taken well either.
Mary was not afraid and she was able to ignore the rules of society and strive for making her mark in both the medical world and women’s rights by refusing to give up when she was told no, or had to close her medical office doors. For these reasons, Mary did not have many followers in the beginning of her career; however, in my opinion, Mary pushed every one of these limits that led...

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