This article has three interrelated perspectives which are developed through an historical and socio-cultural analysis of the development of an opening for middle-class women into a new area of the labour market in the middle of the nineteenth-century: medical care. One theme consists of a gender perspective, which puts relations of power and subordination on the agenda. Another includes a structural perspective, which focuses on analysing the development from a contextual and societal point of view. The final theme focuses the perspective of the actors. It is especially the processes of discipline, femininity and professionalism that constitute important tools of analysis.