Thursday, March 16, 2017

Remembering the First Native American Woman Doctor

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Anthropological Archives.
November 17, 2016.
"In an era when women couldn’t vote and Native Americans were denied citizenship, Susan La Flesche shattered not just one barrier, but two, to become the first Native American woman doctor in the United States."

Susan La Flesche's dedication to becoming a doctor sparked from when she was eight years old sitting at the bedside of a dying elderly woman. The doctor was summoned four times to the aid of the elderly woman, who never showed up resulting in a painful death for the lady. The message that was sent from the Doctor explained the reason for not showing, one of the lines from the message included "It was only an Indian". 

Susan went on to attend the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, "a time when even the most privileged of white women faced severe discrimination." Upon graduating, she went on to help and serve 1,244 patients spread over a territory of 1,350 square miles on her reservation. 

To read more from Christopher Klein's article at the History Channel, 
please click here.

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