Women in Medicine

In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re honoring women who paved the way for the modern healthcare system:

Elizabeth Blackwell, MD

The first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell paved the path for innumerable women to follow. Dr. Blackwell faced years of discrimination before graduating first in her class from Geneva Medical College in New York in 1849.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler, MD

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first Black woman in the United States to earn a medical degree. Challenging the prejudice that stopped so many Black Americans from pursuing careers in medicine, Dr. Crumpler brought about a turning point in the history of women in healthcare.=

Mary Edwards Walker, MD

In all of American History, only one woman has received the Presidential Medal of Honor—and that woman was Dr. Mary Edwards Walker. Not only that, but Dr. Walker was also the first female U.S. Army surgeon. 

Jane Cooke Wright, MD

The first woman and African American to be elected president of the New York Cancer Society, Dr. Jane Wright dedicated her career to researching cancer treatments. Her research pioneered new cancer treatment techniques that have impacted treatments available today.

Clara Barton

Known for her humanitarian work and for founding the American Red Cross, Clara Barton established the National First Aid Association of America, an organization that brought awareness to the importance of emergency preparedness and developed first aid kits.

Susan La Flesche Picotte, MD

The first Native American woman in the United States to earn a medical degree, Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte had an extraordinary career. She helped over 1,300 people by providing financial advice, resolving family disputes, and providing access to medical care any day at any time.
Antonia Novello, MD
Dr. Antonia Novello was both the first woman and the first Hispanic to serve as surgeon general of the United States. While her focus was pediatrics, her work touched every corner of healthcare and medicine. 
Nancy W. Dickey, MD
The first woman to be elected president of the American Medical Association (AMA), Dr. Nancy Dickey continues to bring light to women in healthcare as she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine.
Ardis Dee Hoven, MD
After her notable role as president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven became the first female chair of the World Medical Association. Dr. Hoven’s work in transforming the role health organizations have in advocacy and communication continues to benefit care today.

Show your support for women in medicine this month by sharing these incredible ladies’ stories and your own stories alike!