Noting the discrepancies in healthcare between the cities and countryside, Mao created teams of “barefoot doctors” to bring rudimentary healthcare to rural China at the start of the Cultural Revolution. In certain cases, medical workers with bad political backgrounds were sent to the countryside. However, most barefoot doctors were high school graduates from peasant backgrounds who received basic training and worked alongside their comrades in the fields. In a time when the medical profession was dominated by men, many women were able to become barefoot doctors. In addition to administering basic health care, they also served as midwives, taught hygiene, and helped with family planning.