Mary Putnam Jacobi

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Pioneer for Women in the Medical Professions

Mary Putnam Jacobi was a prominent physician, author, scientist, activist, educator, and perhaps most importantly, a staunch advocate of women's right to seek medical education and training. Men in medicine claimed that a medical education would make women physically ill, and that women physicians endangered their profession. Jacobi worked to prove them wrong [Read More ...]

Bella Chapin Barrows

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First Woman Eye Surgeon and Prison Reform Activist

Image: Dr. Bella Chapin Barrows
Credit: Hartland Historical Society
Artist unknown

Dr. Bella Chapin Barrows accomplished many firsts in her 68 years of life. She was the first woman employed by the U.S. State Department, first woman to have a private medical practice in Washington DC, first woman ophthalmologist (a [Read More ...]

Susan McKinney Steward

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First African American Woman Doctor in New York

Only five years after the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constition abolished slavery in the United States, Susan McKinney Steward graduated from medical school and became the first African American woman physician in New York and only the third black female doctor in the country. She practiced medicine in Brooklyn and Manhattan most [Read More ...]

Oriana Moon Andrews

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First Woman Doctor in the Confederate Army

Dr. Oriana Moon Andrews was a remarkable woman who served as the first female doctor in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, she was physician to women and children, but her family had to move so frequently she was not able to establish a consistent practice. Chronic illness and childbirth at an [Read More ...]

Hannah Myers Longshore

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Pioneer Physician and Professor of Anatomy

Hannah Myers Longshore graduated from the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania's first class in 1851 and became Philadelphia's first woman doctor with a medical degree to establish a private practice, which she continued for forty years. She also lectured extensively first at the Female Medical College, and later in public speeches about sexual health [Read More ...]

Bethenia Owens-Adair

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Pioneer Woman Doctor in Oregon

Bethenia Angelina Owens-Adair (1840 – September 11, 1926) was a social reformer and one of the first female physicians in Oregon Country with an MD (Doctor of Medicine). She was also a divorcee and a single mother, who overcame many hardships to fulfill her dream.

Some Oregon women, such as Mary Anna Cooke Thompson, called [Read More ...]