Female Medical College of Pennsylvania (Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania)

The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania

The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania was founded in 1850 by the Quakers. In 1867, it became the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania and was the first American medical school for women, which educated more black and Native American female doctors than any other predominantly white medical college in nineteenth century America.  Rebecca Cole was the first black graduate of Woman's Medical College to be awarded an MD in 1867. In 1878, Caroline Still Anderson and Giorgianna E. Patterson Young were the next black graduates awarded medical degrees by the school.  From 1970 through 1995, Woman's Medical College was known as the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and in 2002, it became Drexel University College of Medicine.

by Aslaku Berhanu


Peitzman, Steven J.  A New and Untried Course; Woman’s Medical College and Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1850-1998. New Brunswick,  N.J.: Rutgers University press, 2000.


My G, G, G, grandfather, Dr.

My G, G, G, grandfather, Dr. Ellwood Harvey, was one of the six doctors that Dr. B. Fussel appealed to to start the Female Medical College. That was in 1846 at a meeting out in Kennett Square (Smedley's History of the Underground Railraod), but the school would not be started until 1850.. Ellwood joined as a professor there in 1852 and kept it running through its lean beginning days. He was also the Still family physician. It was probably Still that told him about the $300 reward for rescuing Anna Maria Weems who was hiding down in Washington DC. Dr. harvey got her out and up to the Still's house on Thankgiving Day. The next day he took her over toe Camden and by train to NYC. Eventually she made her way to Lewis Tappan's house in NYC and onto Canada with Rev. Noe Freeman. Dr. Harvey used the reward money to buy a dissection mannequin which cost $300. The women's doctor college was not very popular with the male medical establishment before the Civil War.