Doctor or Doctress?

Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians

Letter to Ruth Webster Lathrop of Woman's Medical College from O.W. Whitaker regarding Eliza Grier.

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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.  Eliza Grier was an African American woman who graduated from Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1897.

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.  This author of this letter requested more information about Dr. Grier in order to provide a recommendation for a job.

Creator: Whitaker, O. W.

Contributor: Lathrop, Ruth Webster

Item Number: a266_003

Pages: 1

Size: 20X26.5

Physical Collection: Records of W/MCP: Registrar 1921-1975 (ACC-266), ACC-266

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.

Grier, Eliza Anna

Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania--Alumni and alumnae

African American women physicians


Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania

The Church House, 12th and Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA