As we enter Women’s History Month, it is important to remember the enormous impact that women have made to the medical field. Below is a glimpse of the many women who have not only shaped the field but have also encouraged millions of women around the world to make their mark.
Elizabeth Gooking Greenleaf (1681-1762) is recognized as the first female pharmacist in America where she owned an apothecary shop in Boston.
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is regarded as the founder of modern nursing, she was a statistician and reformer who transformed nursing after her experiences working in the Crimean War (1853-1856).
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) was the first female physician in the United States who also cofounded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children to serve the poor.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831-1895) was the first African American physician who also opened clinics to care for freed slaves who did not otherwise have access to medical care.
Clara Barton (1821-1912) founded the American Red Cross after caring for soldiers in the Civil War.
Mary Putnam Jacobi, MD (1842-1906) fought to have coeducation for medical students and was the first women accepted into the New York Academy of Medicine and was the first women to graduate from a school of pharmacy.
Zada Mary Cooper (1875-1961) aka the “grand and glorious lady of pharmacy”; was one of the founders of the Women’s Section of APhA, as well as, the Professional Pharmacy Fraternity and the Pharmacy Honors Society.
Jane Elizabeth Hodgson (1915-2006) was a Minnesota based OB-GYN and pioneering provider of reproductive healthcare for women and advocate for women’s rights.
Patricia Goldman-Rakic, PhD (1937-2003) was known for her groundbreaking research on understanding conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and many more.
These are only a couple of the many women who had made such a significant impact on medical advances. Without these women, the things we know today may not be possible. Thank you to all the women who are following in their footsteps by continuing to make history!