In the unenlightened past, male physicians who practiced obstetrics and gynecology were often scorned by their male peers as “midwives”. Yet even they were suspicious of allowing women to become physicians, even to treat “their own.”
Fortunately, Dr. Samuel Gregory in 1848 founded the New England Female Medical College, the first in the world to offer medical training to women. No surprise, Dr. Gregory had difficulty finding funding and instructors, but the college eventually trained more than 280 students and granted 98 medical degrees. In 1874, the school merged with Boston University School of Medicine.
One of its most amazing graduates was Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler, the first African American woman to be granted a medical degree.
Born in Delaware on February 8, 1831, Rebecca was raised by an aunt who often helped sick friends and neighbors. In 1852, she moved to Charlestown Massachusetts and worked as a nurse with various doctors until 1860. These professionals all gave her letters of the highest recommendation upon her entrance to the medical college. To quote Rebecca, she “received the degree of doctress of medicine” in 1864.
About this time, she married Dr. Arthur Crumpler
When the Civil War ended, she moved to Virginia and joined other black physicians caring for freed slaves in the Richmond area, herself experiencing intense racism. She bore with grace insults such as the M.D. after her name meant “Mule Driver.”
Eventually, she returned to Boston, caring mostly for women and children. However, demand for her services began to wane. In 1883, she published one of the very first medical books by an African American. The Book of Medical Discourses is based on the extensive notes she took during her years of practice, on health issues and care specifically for women and children.
She dedicated her book to nurses and mothers.
Dr. Crumpler died March 9, 1895. One of the first medical societies for African American women, The Rebecca Lee Society, was named in her honor.
Caught between a noose and a cave-in, Tulsa Sanderson must do anything possible to prove his brother’s innocence...even if it means marrying a gold miner’s daughter he just met. He needs every nugget and flake he can pull from her worn-out claim, but he sure doesn’t need a wife. Save his brother and he’ll be back on the Texas cattle trails. God, and trusting Him, are things of the past.
Charlotte Amalie lost her heart, her virtue, and her money to the last mysterious outsider in the valley. Faith? That’s wavered, too, after too many family tragedies. But she has no choice but to wed the handsome Tull. He bears terrible family secrets that need to be kept behind closed doors. Although she’s eager to leave the valley to find a new life for herself and medical treatments for her wounded brother, her unwanted marriage douses her plans, yet stirs up hope and love for Tull...and begins to fortify her weakened faith.
Can the two of them find a future--and faith--together even with their haunted pasts?
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