Dr. Lois H. Love
Psychiatrist pursued medical school later in life and proved doubters wrong about her abilities and determination
Dr. Lois H. Love, a Baltimore psychiatrist who as a woman with a family had to fight to gain entrance to medical school, died July 22 of lung disease at her Roland Park Place home. She was 94.
“Lois was a terrific person,” said Dr. Paul E. Roberts, a semiretired Johns Hopkins psychoanalyst who lives in Guilford. he said he had come to know Dr. Love in the mid-1960s when they were both working at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, and then “we shared a waiting room in the Latrobe Building in Midtown when we went into private practice.”
“She brought a great humanity to her work, and she had a good sense of humor as well,” he said. “She was quiet when the situation called for it but could be outgoing as well.”
The daughter of Albert Hosbach, a businessman and store owner, and Jane Sanville, who was her husband’s bookkeeper, Lois Hosbach was born and raised in Ocean City, N.J., and graduated from Ocean City High School.
“She was the only girl in her class to go to college,” said her daughter, Dr. Rebecca Love of Moab, Utah. “She owned and operated a boardwalk hamburger stand in order to earn tuition to attend college.”
After graduating in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Swarthmore College, Dr. Love earned a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Pennsylvania.
She obtained her doctorate under the auspices of the War Department and Navy during World War II. She worked on microcirculation of the fingers as a means to improve pilot’s gloves. She also worked on encephalitis vaccines.
She later taught for several years at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, now the Medical College of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
She was married in 1946 to Dr. Warner Edward Love, a professor of biophysics, and in 1957 the couple moved to Baltimore when he was named assistant professor of biophysics at the Johns Hopkins University. He later was department chairman, serving in that role from 1971 to 1974.
Dr. Love told The Baltimore Sun in a 1992 interview that she “retired” in 1951 to become a full-time homemaker and wife.
By 1958, she had two school-age children and decided to return to medical school to pursue a degree in psychiatry. At the same time, another woman, Phyllis Kouenhoven Pullen, who was also a homemaker with children, sought to pursue a medical degree.
Despite both women having strong connections to Johns Hopkins, the medical school rejected them.
They were told to go home and return to taking care of their children and homes. They were also told that caring for children would prove to be a formidable distraction from the rigors and demands of medical school.
“They didn’t like taking women in those days; there were hardly any women in medical schools,” said Dr. Love in the 1992 interview. She noted this was especially true for women who had been years out of college.
“They wanted to be very sure we wanted to go to medical school and not just take the place of a man who would practice longer,” she said.
At the University of Maryland, the two women were subjected to rigorous interviews not by the customary two doctors on the admission committee but by five.
Maryland admitted both women. At their graduation in 1962, both were magna cum laude graduates. Dr. Love was 36, and Dr. Pullen was 35.
They were the only two women in their class of 97, and were also among five members of their class elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor fraternity.
At the time of her graduation, Dr. Love told The Sun that her most important assets in getting through medical school were “a strong back and strong feet.”
She said she was able to complete medical school because of the strong support of both her husband and children.
“Women need to be doing meaningful things. Medicine is a natural kind of career for women; it’s people-oriented, and women are natural caregivers,” Dr. Love said in The Sun interview.
“It doesn’t suffice for women to stay home any more,” she said. “God bless ’em.”
Dr. Love interned at the old South Baltimore General Hospital, now Harbor Hospital, and completed a psychiatric residency at Sheppard Pratt.
“Psychiatry just appealed to me, for a lot of reasons. It’s a very rewarding specialty, intellectually very satisfying,” she told The Sun.
Dr. Pullen became a “country doctor” in Jerusalem on the Baltimore-Harford county line.
Dr. Love later maintained a practice from her home. She was a longtime member of the Baltimore-Washington Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in Laurel.
She was in her 70s when she retired in 2003.
The former Guilford, Roland Park and Bolton Hill resident had lived at Roland Park Place since 2003. She was an avid traveler and enjoyed fishing. In recent years, she was an active member of the Swarthmore College Book Club.
“She was very intelligent, cultured, liked good food and was a great conversationalist,” said Dr. Roberts, who noted that he had traveled on occasion with Dr. Love and her husband. “It’s very hard to imagine the world without Lois being around.” A memorial service will be private. In addition to her husband of 70 years and her daughter, Dr. Love is survived by a son, Michael Love of Philadelphia; and five grandchildren. In addition to her medical degree, Dr. Lois Love held a Ph.D. in physiology.