Doctor or Doctress?

Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians

Class photographs
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Class photographs

26 individual portraits printed together. Matilda A. Evans was an 1897 graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. Eliza Anna Grier was an 1897 graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania

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Two Women Two Paths

The Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP), founded in 1850, graduated its first African American woman physician, Rebecca Cole, in 1867.  By 1906 the college had graduated at least twelve African American women.  The path of these early African American women physicians was often marked by financial struggle and racial and gender discrimination, starting with their medical education and continuing throughout their professional careers.  As students, the women faced both subtle and overt racial prejudice from fellow students, professors, and the public. Once they graduated, they faced both racial and gender discrimination while establishing their professional careers.

In the late nineteenth century, it was uncommon for African-American students to be enrolled in college – especially African-American women.  The class photo illustrates the imbalance of African-American students versus white students.

Item Number: p2971 or p2971c?

Pages: 2

Size: 31.9 x 24.1

Physical Collection: ACC-AHC1

Finding Aid:

Link to OPAC Record:

Cite this source: Title of document, date. Eliza Grier and Matilda Evans: Two Women, Two Paths. 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.

Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania--Students

African American medical students

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Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania