Life History of Dr. Ida Scudder
9th December 1870 to 23rd May 1960
Dr. Ida Scudder was the first woman doctor who came to India. She was the third generation American medical missionary in India of the reformed church in America. She dedicated her life for the plight of Indian women.In 1918 she started one of the Asia’s foremost leading hospitals, The Christian Medical College and Hospital Vellore,India.
When Ida was studying her medine her friends used to tease her by saying that ” Anyhow you are going to be a medical missionary in India”since her Father John Scudder and grandfather along with their wives came to serve India as doctors. But Ida refused all their views and said that all her plan is to get married and settle down in the United States. Once when she came to India for vacation to see her parents she was touched by the death of three women on the same night because there was no female gynaecologist to look after the delivery for those women and Indian women were ready to give away their lives instead of getting treated by a male doctor. So Ida as a young girl promised God to serve Indians.
Dr. Ida’s service in India
She was graduated in Cornell Medical College at Newyork in 1899. Soon after her arrival her father Dr. John Scudder died in 1900.Mr.Schell,a Manhattan banker gave her donation of $10,000 in the memory of his wife. With that money she started a small dispensary and a clinic for women at Vellore.She opened MAY TABER SCHELL HOSPITAL in 1902. She then thought that she would be a fool to think only by her service she can save Indians and she decided to open a medical school. Then she opened a small medical school for girls alone.Skeptical males said she would be lucky to have three applicants but she was fortunate that she got 151 applicants for the first year(1918).In 1928 ground was broken for the “Hill Site” medical school campus at Bagayam Vellore. She travelled a number of times to the United States to raise funds for the college and hospital.In 1945 the college was made co_educational.In 2003 Vellore Christian Medical Center was the largest Christian hospitals in the world with 2000 beds and its medical college is one of the top most medical college in India.Ida Scudder School in Viruthampet, Vellore was named in her honour as a legacy. Dr. Ida Scudder died at her age of 89 at Hilltop her bungalow at Kodaikanal on 23rd May 1960.