Dr. Rebecca J. Cole

Rebecca J. Cole (born March 16, 1846 in Philadelphia, PA) was the second African-American woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States. She graduated from the Woman’s Medical College in Pennsylvania (now administered by Drexel University) in 1867.  Over the course of her medical career, which spanned over fifty years, she fought for access to care for the poor, especially African-Americans, who were ignored by the mainstream medical establishment.  She worked for several years for Elizabeth Blackwell, the first white female physician in the United States to earn a medical degree, before establishing her own practice. She also established an agency which provided legal and medical aide to poor women and children.  She died August 14, 1922.

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