Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Naomi Rogers


This thesis follows two organizations that arose at Yale in the early to mid-twentieth century – the Yale Dames and the Yale Medical Wives Association, groups of women married to Yale graduate students and medical students, respectively. The Yale Dames and Medical Wives Association arose at a time when women were more likely to support their husbands than actually attend graduate or medical school themselves. This thesis characterizes these organizations and provides a unique perspective on the work of graduate and medical wives (both in the traditional financial sense and otherwise) that laid the foundation and provided the support necessary for their male partners to complete their advanced degrees. This thesis also explores the Yale Dames and the Medical Wives Association as examples of invisible labor, a term used to describe the work that tasks that have disproportionately fallen to women in American society.


This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. This thesis is permanently embargoed from public release.