Ode to Rebecca

Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) founded in 1848 is the first medical school in the world to formally educate female physicians.  One of those females was Rebecca Lee Crumpler – a Black woman.  On this date in 1864 she became the first African-American woman to receive an M.D. degree from BUSM which was originally called the New England Female Medical College.

Being the first to accomplish a major feat is monumental, for a lack of better words.  To think of women getting educated in the field of medicine in the 1800s still astounds me.  Think about it – American women were denied the right to vote until 1920!  Fifty-six years before a woman could mark ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a ballot, a Black woman was practicing medicine in Boston.  Crumpler specialized in the care of women, children and the poor.  She accomplished another triumph in 1883 when she provided health care advice for women and their families by publishing a medical guide book called Book of Medical Discourses.  What an inspiration.  I would have definitely taken two aspirin and called her in the morning.


3 thoughts on “Ode to Rebecca

  1. See!!! I never knew this piece of history and it was never taught in school. What an amazingly strong, intelligent woman. Thanks for sharing a piece of her life, Kelly. Something tells me the rest of her life would be worth a movie too.

    • It’s unfortunate stories like this aren’t shared in school. That’s why we still need to have Black History Month, Women’s Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, etc…. And your suggestion on Twitter about Anika Noni Rose is primo-casting!

  2. Pingback: Rebecca Lee Crumpler, MD « Caught Green-Handed

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