This article explores the history of Iraqi women’s participation in the medical profession as accredited physicians in the first half of the twentieth century. It begins with a discussion of women’s exclusion from late Ottoman medical education faculties and their reliance on lay practice as a form of medical training. Women’s ascension in the medical profession was further thwarted by colonial accreditation requirements and a series of laws that emerged during the British occupation and the ensuing mandate. Gradually and in limited numbers, some women were afforded “subordinate ranks” under the British administration. When women of capital expressed interest in and mobilized their networks to gain access to the medical profession as physicians, limited admission into the local medical faculty became viable. Tactical aversions made professional pursuits difficult for segments of the population under study. Those who gained access to the medical profession navigated gendered occupational specialism that in turn shaped their professional trajectories.

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