Lidia Sogandares, The First Medical and Obstetrician Gynecologist in Panama
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Lidia Sogandares, The First Medical and Obstetrician Gynecologist in Panama

Can you imagine that at the end of your professional studies, you can not immediately practice your profession?

Lidia Gertrudis Sogandares Rivera

She was born in Panama in the first decade of the twentieth century. Her family was made up of her parents and 5 siblings. As a young girl, she was a student of Juana Oller, a Panamanian educator, writer and feminist woman.

She held the first position of honor as a Bachelor of Science and Letters at the National Institute in 1926. Her merit earned her a scholarship to study in the United States where she graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in 1930.

Two years later, in 1932, she obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine. In 1934, she completed her studies in Medicine and Surgery. And it was in Pennsylvania in 1935, when the specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology concludes.

Once she returned to Panama, she could not provide her services as a doctor in a public hospital, even though she had completed her studies and her knowledge supported her profession. Given the work conditions allowed for women of her time, she was only offered a chair at the School of Young Ladies. Some time later, Lidia was able to practice as a gynecologist at the Santo Tomas Hospital and started a continuous career.

Lidia also taught at the School of Medicine of the University of Panama and the School of Nursing of the Hospital of Santo Tomas. She was co-founder and first woman member of the Panamanian Academy of Medicine and Surgery, as well as co-founder and first president of the Panamanian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in the 50’s.

She was also involved in some activities related to topics such as family planning and responsible parenthood, issues generally forgotten among patients in the rooms of the Hospital Santo Tomás.

After a brilliant and productive career, on March 21 1977, Lidia died in Panama City.

Arrocha Moran, Vannie [Pablo E. Morán] (2019, September 18) Vision of the First Panamanian Gynecologist, Lidia Sogandares


Encyclopedia of History and Culture of the Caribbean. Lidia Gertrudis Sogandares Rivera. Retrieved on September 21, 2019 from