Doctor’s Orders

woman doctor talks about life

A Woman Doctor Looks at Love and Life

This book is awesome. I hadn’t  heard of Marion Hilliard, until I was taking a close look at this book. For 1957, this book is amazing. As an obstetrician, she developed the simple PAP test, educated women on sexual health, delivered babies, and advocated for women on a national and international level.  This book is a compilation of the many articles she wrote for Chatelaine. Although medical information is always suspect (especially after 60 years), this might have a place in some libraries because of the author.


back cover

woman's fear

just a housewife


  1. This is well written. The author seems like someone I would like to know, and she has progressive views for her time. Things were obviously very different for middle-class women in the ’50s – I can hardly imagine a life in which working was an option, not a financial necessity!

  2. In 1957, the 18 yo made 80 CAD per week. If each week was 40 hr, that’s 2 CAD/hr. Per the officiel Bank, an CPI conversion gives 740 CAD in 2019. Same division gives 18.50 CAD/hr. Any Canadian ideas?

    1. I just did a quick search on “road construction crew jobs” and came up with a listing for “Road Construction Flag-person” at $19/hour. This is in Ontario (the same province as the author lived) where the current minimum wage is $14/hour. It looks like relative wages for this particular occupation have not changed much in sixty years!

      Nowadays, I doubt whether you could pay for medical school by working on a road crew for the summer. According to the University of Toronto website ( you’re looking at $27,411.90 tuition and another $18,440 for books and living expenses.

  3. this has to be fiction. No one ever got a job their first day of looking for one.

    1. Well, the job in question was dime-store clerk, not CEO or anything. I have gotten similar minimum-wage-type jobs on the spot a few times in my life, too.

  4. Thank you for posting about this book. What a fascinating woman! And some of this stuff is timeless; indeed, most of us are “that kind of a girl.” Such frankness must have terrified lesser souls.

  5. Wow, she sounds wonderful! I love how she thinks everyone is “that sort of girl”, and that having a job does you good.

  6. It’s so rare that I find a medical book that’s actually engaging. Especially one that old. She sounds like someone I’d want as my doctor.

Comments are closed.