Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler
Throughout the month of February, we’ll be celebrating Black History Month by highlighting Black people who have changed the course of history through their pioneering work in the medical field. These brave men and women found ways to circumvent cultural and socioeconomic oppression to bring the world lifesaving and healthcare contributions. Today, we’re celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler.
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first Black woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. A true pioneer, she battled deep-seated prejudice against women and African Americans in medicine. After earning her degree in Boston, she spent time in Richmond, Virginia, after the American Civil War, caring for formerly enslaved people. In 1883, Dr. Crumpler published her Book of Medical Discourses. It chronicles her experiences as a doctor and provides guidance on maternal and child health.