Dr. Anna Bayerová: The First Official Female Doctor in Bosnia and Herzegovina
This biographical note details Anna Bayerová’s (1853–1924) activities as the first female Austro-Hungarian health officer in 1878 to1918 occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH). Anna Bayerová is known as a heroine of Czech feminism and the ‘first Czech female physician’, though she only practised in the Czech lands from 1913 to 1916. In 1891, Bayerová was enrolled as the first Austro-Hungarian female health officer and assigned to treat Muslim women in the district of Tuzla, Bosnia. She pursued this mission for the first three months of 1892, had herself transferred to Sarajevo in the summer, and soon thereafter quitted the service. Her biographers point to a series of political and personal motivations to abandon her mission in Bosnia, which, from the viewpoint of Czech feminists, included fulfilling her professional duties in an exemplary way. She spent most of her professional life as a physician in Switzerland and did not request Austrian recognition of her medical degree until 1913. Bayerová died in Prague in 1924.
Conclusion. Bayerová, partly for political reasons and partly due to her panic-fuelled fear of catching tuberculosis, quitted her role as the first Austro-Hungarian female health officer in BH soon after her arrival in 1892.
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