UPDATE (11/28/16) – The Photo of Dr. Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler included in the original post of of this article on 02/14/13 cannot be independently verified. Therefore, it has been removed.

“The way to stay happily married, she advised, ‘is to continue in the careful routine of the courting days, till it becomes well understood between the two.’ “ – Dr. Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler

Dr. Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler

Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler, the first African American woman to become a physician in the United States, was born in Delaware February 8, 1831. In 1852, Crumpler moved to Massachusetts where she worked as a nurse for eight years. In 1864, she earned a medical degree from the New England Female Medical College, making her the first African American woman in the United States to earn that degree and the only African American to graduate from that college. After the end of the Civil War in 1865, Crumpler moved to Richmond, Virginia where she joined other Black physicians caring for formerly enslaved people who otherwise had no access to medical care. Crumpler authored “A Book of Medical Discourses” in 1883 and died March 9, 1895.

The Akosua Report: Facts on The African Diaspora, is written by Akosua Lowery. Follow her on Twitter @AkosuaLowery.

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  1. Are you sure that the picture you have is a picture of Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler? This same picture appears to be of Mary Mahoney. How can this be? Somebody has made a mistake along the way.

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