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Lydia B. Edwards was born in Berkely, California. She graduated from Radcliffe College with an A. B. in 1927 and a M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1932. Edwards trained in internal medicine as well as pediatrics mostly at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1932-1937. She was the director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s pediatric outpatient department for one year before taking a fellowship in research and preventive medicine. In 1940, Edwards was promoted to assistant professor pediatrics and preventive medicine and director of the childrens TB clinic. She was commissioned as an officer of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) in 1944 and remained in the public health service until her retirement in 1973. Edwards’ primary research interest was in tuberculosis treatment. She was the director of the World Health Organization Tuberculosis Research Office from 1948 to 1955 and a medical officer in the USPHS tuberculosis research office from 1955-1973.

Scope and Content

The Lydia B. Edwards Collection consists of a self-published autobiography entitled, “Life as a Doctor: A Pesky Darling Grows Up”. Edwards recounts stories as a Johns Hopkins medical student during the Depression especailly about her teachers Louis Hammen and Arnold Rich. Her years in the United States Public Health Service and her adventures working with the World Health Organization are of particular interest.

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