Honoring Black History Month: Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler
Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first African American female to earn a medical degree in the United States.
Born in 1831 in the state of Delaware, Dr. Crumpler worked for 8 years as a nurse before pursuing a degree in medicine. She would then go on to graduate in 1863 from the New England Female Medical College, which later became the Boston University School of Medicine.
Dr. Crumpler practiced in Boston and then moved to Richmond, Virginia after the Civil War ended in 1865. Dr. Crumpler was able to practice with other African American physicians and caring for freed slaves who would otherwise have no access to medical care. She eventually moved back to Massachusetts and retired in the affluent neighborhood of Hyde Park. Where in 1883, she published a book, Book of Medical Discourses based on her journal notes in practice over the years that provided medical advice for women and children.