A journey has been made through Norwegian literature of the last century for the purpose of presenting to the readers of this journal what is to be found of literature describing doctors. The purpose was also to find literary interpretations of the historical evolution of the doctor's role. A characteristic common to all the doctors in the study is that they all suffer from various personal problems such as neuroses, drug abuse, overindulgence in alcohol, family problems, loneliness, maltreatment of children, suicide or murder. A closer study of the description of six local doctors shows small changes in work structure and social relations during the century, but more popular behaviour is found in the portrayal of more modern characters. Good and rich portraits of doctors in Norwegian literature are rare. Those that are found have been created to describe personal or social problems rather than to tell especially what it is like to be a doctor.
Ellen Gleditsch (1879-1968) became Norway's first authority on radioactivity and the country's second female full professor. From her many years abroad--in Marie Curie's laboratory in Paris and at Yale University in New Haven with Bertram Boltram--she became internationally acknowledged and developed an extensive personal and scientific network. In the Norwegian scientific community she was, however, less appreciated, and her appointment as a professor in 1929 caused controversy. Despite the recommendation of the expert committee, her predecessor and his allies spread the view that Gleditsch was a diligent but outdated researcher with little scientific promise-a view that apparently persists in the Norwegian chemical community today. In addition to her scientific work, Gleditsch acquired political influence by joining the International Federation of University Women in 1920; she later became the president of both the Norwegian section and the worldwide organization. She worked in particular to establish scholarships enabling women to go abroad.
Charlotte Yhlén (1839-1919) was the first Swedish woman with medical education. New research has shed light on this forgotten pioneer. Charlotte was born in a Southern Sweden in a family without academical tradition. In her youth she got inspired by the woman emancipation movement. At an age of 28 she emigrated to the USA and studied at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. Her student thesis dealt with glaucoma. After graduation, Charlotte applied for work in Sweden but got rejected. Therefore, she moved back to the USA to work at Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia and later with a private practice as a general practitioner. In 1874, she married a Norwegian engineer and the couple got two children. Her husband's successful company Tinius Olsen Company was probably the reason why she gave up her medical career in her 50s. The article describes the conditions for love and work for the first Swedish women with academical education.