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Wednesday, February 3rd. Today is National Women Physician Day. This annual observance falls on the birthday of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States in 1849.

As it happens, this year’s occasion falls on Dr. Blackwell’s 200th birthday. 

Elizabeth Blackwell championed the participation of women in the medical profession, and ultimately opened her own medical college for women. Also born in February 10 years after Blackwell, Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler in 1864 became the first Black woman to earn a medical degree. She devoted most of her professional life to poor patients in Boston.

Nationwide, some 273,000of the nation’s 960,000 physicians, surgeons and other medical practitioners are women.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at www.census.gov.

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