|Birth: ||Mar. 16, 1846|
|Death: ||Aug. 14, 1922|
Rebecca J. Cole was the second African American female doctor in the U.S. and the first black woman graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Rebecca graduated 1863 from the Institute for Colored Youth which later became Cheyney University, and went on to receive her medical degree in 1867 from Woman's Medical College which was connected to Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, now part of Drexel University. Her thesis was "The Eye and its Appendages."
Dr. Cole served as a resident physician at the New York Infirmary for Women and Children bed in the years 1872-1881.
Dr. Cole worked with Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first white American woman physician to receive a medical degree, and Blackwell trained Cole to be a "sanitary visitor" wherein as a traveling physician she would go visit families at home in poorer neighborhoods and teach them about pregnancy care, family hygiene, prenatal, and infant care. In her autobiography, Dr. Blackwell said she "had "carried on this work with tact and care."
Dr. Cole practiced medicine in South Carolina for a while, and eventually returned to Philadelphia. She opened an office in South Philadelphia.
With assistance from fellow woman physician Charlotte Abbey, in 1873 Dr. Cole started the Women's Directory Center to provide legal and medical services to poor women and children in the city.
In all, Dr. Cole practiced medicine for fifty years.
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Mar 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34922741
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