Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon

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Julia Maria Brinck


Physiotherapist, teacher, doctor

Julia Brinck was one of the first Swedish women to gain a doctorate in medicine.

Julia Brinck was born in Helsingborg. She had a younger sibling. Her father was a master cobbler. When she was 21 years old she sat her medical exams at Gymnastiska centralinstitutet (GCI, today Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences) in Stockholm, along with Karolina Widerström. She then worked at several physiotherapy clinics in Hamburg, Nice, and Helsingborg. In 1880 she became employed as a physical education teacher at the Ladies College on Guernsey. Two years later she began to study at the London School of Medicine for Women, which at the time was the only institution in Great Britain where women could study medicine. However, for unknown reasons, the school was not permitted to award medical licences. This was instead done in Ireland, which is why Julia Brinck obtained her licence to work as a doctor in Dublin after four years of studying in London.

In 1887 Julia Brinck defended her thesis at Bern University having written her doctorate on the physiology of muscles. She investigated the electrical activity within a frog’s heart after the introduction of various elements. Her articles were published in both British and German journals during the late 1880s. Further she was the first woman ever to receive a research scholarship from the British medical association. Towards the end of her life she became a peace activist and corresponded with Florence Nightingale, the giant of medical history.

Julia Brinck died in California in 1826. She was 72 years old. A street in Helsingborg has been named after her.

Tomas Bro
(Translated by Alexia Grosjean)

Published 2018-03-08

You are welcome to cite this article but always provide the author’s name as follows:

Julia Maria Brinck,, Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon (article by Tomas Bro), retrieved 2024-07-12.

Family Relationships

Civil Status: Unmarried
  • Mother: Anna Maria Hansson
  • Father: Anders Brinck
  • Brother: Carl G Brinck


  • Yrkesutbildning, London, Storbritannien: Läkarexamen (utfärdad i Dublin), The London School of Medicine for Women
  • Universitet, Bern, Schweiz: Med.dr., disputation, Universität Bern


  • Profession: Sjukgymnast, kliniker i Hamburg, Nice och Helsingborg
  • Profession: Gymnastiklärare, Ladies College
  • Profession: Forskare, muskelfysiologi
  • Profession: Läkare, egen praktik


  • Colleague: Karolina Widerström
  • Friend: Florence Nightingale


  • Birthplace: Helsingborg
  • Helsingborg
  • Stockholm
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