Mary Garrett’s use of coercive philanthropy allowed the Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine to admit three women and fifteen men in
October 1893. As of June 21, 2000, the university’s Office of the
Registrar reported the following cumulative figures: 1547 women and 7344
men have graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Many Hopkins women graduates have gone on to successful careers and professional
distinction. Here we name just a few of them.
Florence Rena Sabin (class of 1900), the first woman JHUSOM professor,
went on to join the Rockefeller Institute as the first woman faculty
member. She was also the first female member of the National Academy
of Sciences. In 1951 she received the Lasker Award for her achievements
in health care reform legislation in Colorado. Her statue stands in the
gallery at the U.S. Capitol.
Dorothy Reed Mendenhall, also class of 1900, worked in Dr. William Welch’s
pathology lab after graduation. Her research involved the study of a
red blood cell, known as the Reed-Sternberg cell, that characterized
Hodgkin’s disease. After raising her family, she devoted her career
to issues of maternal and child health. She was named a medical officer
of the U.S. Children’s Bureau.
Helen Taussig, class of 1927, a pediatric cardiologist and the second
Hopkins woman professor, worked with Dr. Alfred Blalock to correct and
treat babies suffering from a serious heart defect. She was also the
most vocal advocate for blocking the use of thalidomide in this country.
She received the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, for her
Caroline Bedall Thomas, class of 1930, led the nation’s longest
running prospective health study, The Johns Hopkins Precursor’s
Study. She is also known for her work in the treatment of acute rheumatic
Other notable women include:
Gladys Rowena Henry Dick (class of 1907), working with her husband,
proved that streptococcus causes scarlet fever and devised a diagnostic
test known as the Dick test.
Clelia Duel Mosher (class of 1900) was a pioneer in the study of female
Esther Rosencrantz (class of 1904), faculty member at the University
of California Medical School, was decorated for her work as a member
of the WWI Red Cross Tuberculosis commission.
Louise Pearce (class of 1912) joined the Rockefeller Institute and made
important contributions to the understanding of syphilis, rabbit genetics,
and African sleeping sickness.
Esther Loring Richards (class of 1915) was psychiatrist-in-chief at the
Baltimore City Hospitals.
Ruth E. Fairbank (class of 1916) was a psychiatrist and professor of
hygiene at Mount Holyoke College.
Edith M. Lincoln (class of 1916), the head of children’s chest
clinic at Bellevue Hospital, made important contributions in the treatment
Martha M. Eliot (class of 1918) was a pediatrician and the first woman
president of the American Public Health Association and associate director
of the World Health Organization.
Ella Oppenheimer (class of 1918) was director of the Maternity and Infancy
Division, U.S. Public Health Service.
Ella Oppenheimer Miller (no relation, class of 1924) was a Hopkins pathologist
whose main research interests were cystic fibrosis, viral infections,
and congenital heart disease.
Madge Thurlow Macklin (class of 1919), a pioneer in the study of inherited
disease, was one of the first to use the term medical genetics.
Harriet G. Guild (class of 1925) won the Elizabeth Blackwell Award for
her study of pediatric nephrosis and kidney disease.
Sarah S. Tower (class of 1928) was a well-known psychiatrist and psychoanalyst
at Hopkins who also taught anatomy at Hopkins early in her career.
Hattie Alexander (Class of 1930) concentrated on the study of genetics
and developed a serum for the treatment of influenzal meningitis in infants
Ann G. Kuttner (class of 1930), an associate professor of Pediatrics
at New York University, studied streptococci and rheumatic fever.
Miriam E. Brailey (class of 1930) was the Baltimore City Health Department’s
director of the Bureau of Tuberculosis.
Georgeanna Seegar Jones (class of 1936) and her husband were pioneers
in the treatment of infertility.
The Johns Hopkins University School
of Medicine Female Graduates 1897-2003
The Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine Female Professors Appointed from 1917 to