Friday, February 18, 2005

Krista Highlights Dr. Rebecca Cole for Black History Month

Krista: I want to highlight someone that we learned about in class this week, Dr. Rebecca Cole. She was the second African-American woman to get a degree in medicine and become a licensed doctor.

The year was 1867 and she was born in 1946. Dr. Cole went to New York where she went to work at New York Infirmary for Women and Children as a resident. Dr. Cole would travel to impoverished areas and educate people about hygene and child care.

She also practiced in South Carolina and Philadelphia. In all, she practiced medicine for fifty years.

Dr. Cole practiced medicine in Columbia, South Carolina for a time and returned to Philadelphia to open an office in the South Philadelphia section of the city. In 1873, with assistance from fellow woman physician Charlotte Abbey, Dr. Rebecca Cole started a Women's Directory Center to provide medical and legal services to destitute women and children in Philadelphia. Dr. Rebecca Cole practiced medicine for fifty years.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African-American woman to graduate with a medical degree and become a doctor. James Durham is thought to be the first African-American male doctor (he was born in 1762). And also of note is Daniel Hale Williams who was the first doctor of any race to perform open heart surgey. (Dr. Williams was born in 1856 and performed open heart surgery for the first time in 1893.)