Doctor or Doctress?

Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians

A photograph of Dr. Hannah Longshore around the time she graduated from Female Medical College, posed with her daughter.

Get the story...

"Will you accept or reject them?" The First Female Medical College

Hannah Myers Longshore was a member of the first graduating class of the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1852. Longshore was a member of a dedicated Quaker [a Christian movement that encouraged humanitarianism and equal education for boys and girls] abolitionist family who also supported women’s rights. She married Thomas Longshore whose brother, Joseph, was a Philadelphia physician. She received tremendous support from both her husband and her brother-in-law in her desire to study medicine. Indeed, Joseph Longshore gave her instruction before he became one of the founders of Female Medical College. Upon graduation Longshore faced tremendous discrimination despite the support of her husband and brother-in-law. Many doctors initially refused to consult with her and pharmacists refused to fill her prescriptions. For a time, she had to prepare her own medicines by hand. Despite objections, Longshore offered a series of public lectures on physiology and hygiene, encouraged by women's rights leaders such as Lucretia Mott. Her practice also became successful despite the prejudice against her as a woman doctor.

The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania was the first medical school to grant degrees to women. It opened in 1850, and made it possible for women to formally train as doctors. Hannah Longshore was a member of the first graduating class in 1852.

Language: english

Item Number: a2000_12_002

Pages: 2

Size: 8 x 9.2cm

Physical Collection: Longshore family collection (ACC-2000.12), ACC-2000.12

Finding Aid:

Cite this source: Title of document, date. The First Female Medical College: Will you accept or reject them?. Doctor or Doctress?: Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians. The Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives & Special Collections. Philadelphia, PA. Date of access.

Longshore, Hannah, 1819-1901

Women physicians

Mothers and daughters

Longshore-Blankenburg, Lucretia

Philadelphia (Pa.)