Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was a trailblazing physician and the first Black woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. Born in Delaware, she faced numerous challenges as she pursued her medical education during a time when both race and gender posed seemingly insurmountable barriers.

In 1864, Dr. Crumpler graduated from the New England Female Medical College in Boston. However, toward the end of the Civil War, she felt drawn to move to Virginia to serve the enormous medical needs of the newly freed Black population in the post-Civil War South.

Eventually, Dr. Crumpler returned to Boston in the late 1860s where she served predominately Black neighborhoods to treat their medical needs, regardless of whether they could pay for her services or not.

She authored a book titled “A Book of Medical Discourses,” published in 1883, which documented her experiences and medical knowledge. Dr. Rebecca Crumpler’s legacy is celebrated for breaking down barriers in the medical profession, paving the way for future generations of African American women in healthcare. Her contributions have left a lasting impact on the history of medicine and the fight for equality in the field.

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