Pierra Vejjabul (Thai: เพียร เวชบุล, born Pierra Hoon,[a] 27 November 1898 or 1909 – 20 April 1984[b]) was one of the first female physicians of Thailand. She was a pioneer in the field of women's health in Thailand.
|Died||20 April 1984(aged 74)|
|Education||MD, University of Paris|
|Known for||Mother-and-child welfare|
|Institutions||Venereal Diseases and Leprosy Control Division, Ministry of Public Health|
|Awards||Order of the White Elephant|
Pierra was born in Lampang, Thailand to Trongkij Hoontrakul, a well-to-do merchant, and Phant Hoontrakul, who was his third wife. She was the youngest child of the family. She was educated in Bangkok at Saovabha and Saint Joseph Convent Schools, and graduated from secondary school in 1925. She then took up a teaching position at Assumption Convent and Saint Joseph Convent Schools.
Inspired to study medicine by a French doctor who helped her mother, upon graduation Pierra had applied for training at the Medical School at Siriraj Hospital, but was rejected as the school did not accept females at the time. At the age of sixteen, against her father's wishes, she left for Saigon, where she studied French for one year with the support of Catholic nuns. She then left for France, where she obtained a medical education at the University of Paris, graduating in 1936 and then returning to practise in Thailand.
She took a position in the Thai Ministry of Public Health's Department of Venereal Diseases. She was a vocal activist on the welfare of prostitutes and their children, an issue ignored by society at large at the time, and dedicated herself to the issue. She founded the Pierra Maternity and Child Welfare Foundation, which under her leadership took over 4,000 abandoned children under its care.
- Margaret Lin Xavier, first female Thai physician
- Hoontrakul in Thai
- Sources differ on her birth year; some list it as 1898, while others give 1909.
- The meaning of this word is unclear, some sources having "great woman doctor" and others having "complete doctor".
- Windsor, Laura Lynn (2002). Women in medicine: an encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 203–4. ISBN 1-57607-392-0.
- Flemming, RM (1951). "Pierra Hoon Vejjabul, M.D.; first woman doctor of Thailand". J Am Med Womens Assoc. 6 (7): 279. PMID 14850341.
- "Biography of Dr. Pierra Vejjabul". Pierra Maternity & Child Welfare Foundation website. Pierra Maternity & Child Welfare Foundation. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
- Eron, Carol (1979). "Women in Medicine and Health Care". In O'Neill, Lois Decker (ed.). The Women's Book of World Records and Achievements. Anchor Press. p. 210. ISBN 0-385-12733-2.
First Woman Physician of Thailand