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UNMC ID Celebrates National Black Women Physicians Day

192 years ago today, Dr. Lee Crumpler, the first Black woman to receive an M.D. in the United States, was born. We now recognize her birthday as National Black Women Physicians Day to celebrate the contributions of African American woman physicians to medicine.

It is fitting to celebrate Dr. Lee Crumpler’s life and this day of recognition in the broader context of Black History Month and along with the events planned as part of UNMC’s celebration of black history.

Throughout her life, she made essential contributions to medicine, including providing care for newly emancipated slaves under the Freedman’s Bureau, later serving the larger African-American community in Boston, and writing a medical text composed of her notes throughout her career particularly pertaining to the care and prevention of disease in children and mothers. All of these achievements were realized in the face of blatant racism and sexism from colleagues, pharmacists, and the public. Though no known verified image exists of Dr. Lee Crumpler, her triumphs in the face of adversity are inspiring and illustrate the first in a long history of contributions to medicine by African-American woman physicians.

Join us today as we celebrate all African-American woman physicians and their profound contribution to their patients and the medical field.

For more information about Dr. Lee Crumpler, see this article written by Dr. Howard Markel for PBS.

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