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Clara A Swain Md by Mrs. Robert Hoskins


The two ladies, whose previous slight acquaintance had ripened into warmest friendship during their weeks of journeying together, had hoped that they might be associated together in mission work, but it was not so to be. Miss Thoburn was appointed to educational work in Lucknow, and Dr. Swain found that she was to remain in Bareilly. This appointment gave her the opportunity to begin her medical work at once, for there were not only the girls' orphanage, for which Mrs. Thomas had so long desired efficient medical help, but scores of Christian women who could not go to the city hospital. In addition to these, there was the class of fourteen intelligent Christian girls that had for two years been receiving excellent preparatory training from Mrs. Thomas, who had fully believed that her prayer for a lady doctor would be answered and that these girls would yet have the opportunity for the study of medicine. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were well acquainted with several of the wealthy and influential natives of the city, and Mrs. Thomas welcomed the opportunity to introduce her doctor friend to these homes.

There was no lack of patients for the new doctor; for in addition to her work in the orphanage and her medical class, calls to native homes in the city became more and more frequent. At the end of the first six weeks after her arrival in Bareilly, Dr. Swain's note book recorded one hundred and eight patients. Her report to the conference, after a year of such service as she had never dreamed of, gave the number of patients prescribed for at the mission house as twelve hundred and twenty-five, and of visits to patients in their homes, two hundred and fifty.

The young women of the medical class were gaining practice and experience by caring for the sick in the orphanage and the Christian village, and sometimes accompanying Dr. Swain to visit her city patients, and they were also becoming proficient in compounding and dispensing medicines. This class, begun March 1, 1870, was graduated April 10, 1873, having passed an excellent examination before two civil surgeons and an American physician, from whom they received certificates entitling them to practice in all ordinary diseases.

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