Women's Experiences in UCC
This collection features two sisters, Kathleen Purcell and Phil Spellman, as they recount their experience in UCC training as doctors in the 1940s and 50s. It describes the lives of women who attended UCC in this period and their experiences as doctors in post-war Ireland. It explores topics such as social convention in Ireland in this period, academic life as a female student and middle-class emigration. Interviews by Cormac Cahalane.
Kathleen describes her experience emigrating to England immediately after completing her training as a doctor in UCC. She describes the differences between working in England and Ireland. She recounts her experience trying to find work as a married…
In this segment, Kathleen touches upon the nature of both studying for, and participating in, exams in university at this time. She also describes the status of women doctors in Ireland at the time.
Kathleen describes the various social outlets available to women in the university at this time. She makes particular note of the organised dances that were held for the students on Sunday nights and how they formed the focal point of her social…
Kathleen provides us with a picture of the social norms and conventions present in UCC such as public houses being exclusively male environments. She further reflects on the opportunity she possessed in going to college through her social class.
Kathleen describes daily life in university, describing the Ladies’ Club where women would congregate in between lectures and the interactions between the sexes in University.
Kathleen talks about her early life and her education prior to university. She describes the requirements necessary for entrance into Medicine in the 1940s and the process of applying.
Phil Spellman talks about her working life after university where she emigrated to England and the United States only to return to Ireland where she spent most of her working life.
Phil Spellman speaks about the accommodation and academic aspects of life as a medical student in UCC, as well as her early experience as a trainee doctor working with some of Cork’s poor families.
Phil Spellman talks about the social life at university and the various outlets that the students had to socialise with their peers.
Phil Spellman talks about her early life and education before entering university. She delves into the requirements for entering the School of Medicine in UCC in the 1940s.