The Galvanic Bath and Dr. Jennie Kidd Trout

Galvanic Bath - what is it?
First, what is a galvanic bath? A galvanic bath uses the components of water and gentle electrical current. You lie in a 34 degree Celsius Bath, electricity is then passed through your body. Galvanic bath's are mostly used in the treatment of degenerative diseases such as inflammatory arthritis and problems with the joints. The treatment lasts about 15 minutes.

Jennie Kidd Trout was one of the first to truly believe in these treatments for certain prolonging health problems. She has an important part in the history of the galvanic bath.

Jennie Trout from Canada became the very first woman legally to become a medical doctor and she was also the only woman in Canada licensed to practice medicine up until the 1880's. In the 1880's a woman named Emily Stowe finished her official qualifications.

Jennie was born in Wooden Mills, Kelso, Scotland. In 1847, she made the move with her parents to Stratford Ontario. In 1865, she married Edward Trout and they moved to Toronto where Edward ran a local newspaper.

Jennie suffered from chronic illnesses which became her motivation to decide on a career in medicine. She passed her matriculation exam in 1871, then she studied medicine at the University of Toronto, later she transferred to the Women's Medical College in Pennsylvania. On March 11, 1875, she earned her MD.

The Therapeutic and Electrical Institute was opened by Jennie in Toronto. She specialized in specific treatments for all that involved "galvanic baths and electricity". She also ran a free dispensary for the poor located at the same place, for six years. The Institute became very successful and the practice was growing rapidly. The Therapeutic and Electrical Institute included six houses that adjoined the family's residence. Eventually the Institute was able to open two more branches in Hamilton and Brantford, Ontario.

In 1880, a male physician joined the team at the Institute as a consulting physician. This was the first known time a male doctor was a "consulting physician" especially at an Institution that was ran by females.

From all the efforts she put in at the Institute, Jennie's health became strained. She was 41 years of age when she was forced to retire in 1882.

In April 1883, Jennie offered $10,000 to help set up a Medical College for women in Toronto. She made it very clear that it should be established with "liberal" principles, there should be a large majority of women on the Board of Governor's and women should be admitted as staff to the school also.
This caused some big problems, no one was ready to open or sponsor a "liberal" women's college. They had no problem with the Women's College within itself or the college strictly being for women, so Jennie switched her support to establish a medical college at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

The Toronto University opened it's doors on October 1, 1883. The next day with Jennie Trout as one of it's trustees, The Kingston Women's Medical College opened. In 1894 the two college's merged as the Ontario Medical College for Women in Toronto.

During all of this, Jennie raised two adopted children, her Grandniece Helen Huntsman and her Grandnephew Edward Huntsman. Their Mother had died at a very early age.

Jennie and family spent most Winter's in their residence at Palma Sola, Florida. They returned to Toronto in the Summertime. The family home was called Gowan Hall and located in Scarborough, Ontario.

In 1908, Jennie moved along with her family to Los Angeles, California, she died there in 1921.

Jennie showed spirit, courage and determination in pursuing her medical career and in her belief of her treatment in galvanic baths and electricity for her patients with chronic conditions. The galvanic bath was a very important endeavor in Jennie Kidd Trout's treatment options.

She opened her heart, mind and soul to doing a lot of good work for God.
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