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Blackwell, Elizabeth (03 February 1821–31 May 1910), physician, reformer, and medical educator, was born in Bristol, England, daughter of Samuel Blackwell, a prosperous sugar refiner, and Hannah Lane. Her father’s interest in abolitionism and in “perfectionist reform,” the belief that through education and spiritual regeneration human beings could achieve a just society on earth, coupled with a series of financial reversals, prompted a move to the United States in 1832 when Elizabeth was eleven....

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Hugh Cabot. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Cabot, Hugh (11 August 1872–14 August 1945), surgeon, educator, and medical reformer, was born in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, the son of James Elliot Cabot, an architect, naturalist, and graduate of Harvard Law School, and Elizabeth Dwight. The youngest of seven boys, Cabot was an active child, exposed to music, the Unitarian religion, the challenge of the outdoors, and his parents’ philanthropic ideals. His privileged yet altruistic upbringing underlay his future productive life....

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Davis, Frances Elliott (28 April 1882–02 May 1965), public health nurse, nurse-educator, and community advocate, was born in Shelby, North Carolina, the daughter of an unlawful interracial marriage between Darryl Elliott, a part African-American Cherokee sharecropper, and Emma (maiden name unknown), the daughter of a plantation owner and Methodist minister. Darryl Elliott fled the state early in Frances’s life, leaving her to be raised by her mother. Both parents had died by 1887, after which Davis was raised in a succession of foster homes. At the age of twelve she was sent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she lived under the guardianship of the Reverend Mr. Vickers. In the Vickers household she was regarded more as a domestic helper than a ward; consequently her early formal education was pursued on a sporadic basis. Determined to succeed, she possessed the intrepidity to upgrade her reading skills on her own....

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Eliot, Martha May (07 April 1891–14 February 1978), pediatrician, advocate for maternal and child health, and teacher, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the daughter of Christopher Rhodes Eliot, a Unitarian minister, and Mary Jackson May. Eliot attended the Prince School and Miss Windsor’s School in Boston, going on to Radcliffe College, where she majored in classical literature. Having developed an interest in medicine, she also completed premedical requirements, graduating in 1913. She then applied to Harvard Medical School, which did not then admit women; having made her attempt and her point, she entered Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1914, receiving the M.D. with honors in 1918. Following an internship in medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, she completed a residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (1919–1920)....

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Harrington, Thomas Francis (10 June 1866–19 January 1919), physician and public health educator, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas Harrington and Mary Callaghan. In October 1885, following graduation from Lowell High School, he matriculated at the Harvard Medical School, enrolling at a time when the college degree was not yet a requirement for admission. He graduated in the class of 1888 and continued his medical education for another year in Europe, at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin and at the Children’s Hospital in London, and in Paris and Vienna. Late in 1889 he established a medical practice in his native Lowell, focusing on internal medicine, including pediatrics and gynecology. Harrington held appointments as visiting physician to St. John’s Hospital for fifteen years and as consulting physician for three years afterward. In 1891 he married Mary I. Dempsey of Lowell,with whom he had three sons....

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Koplik, Henry (28 October 1858–30 April 1927), pediatrician, educator, and microbiologist, was born in New York City, the son of Abraham S. Koplik and Rosalie K. Prager. Koplik received his undergraduate education at the City College of New York, where he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in 1878. In 1881 Koplik completed his medical school studies at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in the City of New York. The following year, 1882, he served his internship at the Bellevue Hospital of New York City....

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Mendenhall, Dorothy Reed (22 September 1874–31 July 1964), physician and public health educator, was born in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of Grace Kimball and William Pratt Reed, a wealthy shoe manufacturer. Although Mendenhall’s father died when she was six, the family was left comfortably well-off, and Mendenhall received an upper-class education at home, including instruction by a governess and frequent European travel....

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Merrick, Myra King (15 August 1825–10 November 1899), physician and educator, was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, the daughter of Richard King, a brickmaker, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). In 1826 the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Taunton, Massachusetts. At the age of eight, Myra began working in Taunton’s textile mills, helping to support a family that now numbered five children. In 1841 the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she secured employment as a nurse to several physicians in the area and developed an interest in medicine as a profession. After her marriage to builder and machinist Charles H. Merrick in 1848, the couple moved to Connecticut, where she began the study of medicine under New Haven physicians Eli Ives, professor of theory and practice of medicine at Yale University, and his obstetrician son, Levi Ives....

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Ochsner, Alton (04 May 1896–24 September 1981), surgeon, medical educator, and early crusader against cigarettes, was born Edward William Alton Ochsner in Kimball, South Dakota, the son of Edward Philip Ochsner, a retail merchant, and Clara Leda Shontz. The protégé of a distant cousin, Albert John Ochsner, Alton completed the two-year medical course offered by the University of South Dakota in 1918 and received his doctor of medicine degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1920. He served his internship and a year of internal medicine residency at the Barnes Hospital in St. Louis before entering his residency in surgery under the tutelage of his cousin, chief surgeon at the Augustana Hospital in Chicago, the first Ochsner to establish an international reputation in medical circles. His mentor arranged for Alton to have a year of training at the Kantonsspital, University of Zurich, Switzerland, and another year at the Staedtisches Krankenhaus, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. While in Switzerland Ochsner married Isabel Kathryn Lockwood of Chicago in 1923. He entered private practice at Chicago on 1 January 1925....

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Souchon, Edmond (01 December 1841–05 August 1924), anatomist, surgeon, and public health educator, was born in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, the son of Eugene Souchon, a surgeon-dentist, and Caroline Pettit, both natives of France. His early education was acquired in private schools in St. Martinville, Louisiana, Mobile, Alabama, and New Orleans, except for a brief period when he attended a public school in New Orleans because of his father’s ill health. Souchon later took pride in relating how he had to sell newspapers during this period to help the family finances....

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Welsh, Lilian (06 March 1858–23 February 1938), physician, educator, and suffragist, was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Major Thomas Welsh and Annie Eunice Young. Her father served in the Mexican War in 1847, returned to civilian life, and then rejoined the military when the Civil War broke out. He had just risen to the rank of brigadier general, commanding a division of 4,500 men, when he took ill and died in 1863. Welsh graduated from Columbia High School at the age of fifteen as one of two young women making up the first graduating class. Between the years 1873 and 1881 she taught at the primary, elementary, and secondary levels and attended Millersville State Normal School in Pennsylvania and taught there. From 1881 to 1886 she served as the principal of Columbia High School. In 1885, finding no opportunities for women to advance their careers as superintendents of schools, she considered the two choices open to her for continuing her education: work for the A.B. at Bryn Mawr College, which had just opened that year, or proceed to the study of medicine for which at the time no college requirement was necessary. Interest in chemistry steered her on the latter course. She earned the M.D. from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1889 and pursued her studies further by working toward a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Zurich in the hopes of becoming a research scientist. While in Zurich, she met Dr. ...