Sarah L. Fraser: One of the First Black Female Doctors in the United States

-1 Posted by - January 18, 2021 - Blacks In Medicine, LATEST POSTS
Sarah L. Fraser was one of the first black female doctors in America. Fraser was born on January 29, 1850. She was on of eight children to Rev. Loguen and wife Caroline. Fraser traveled with her father as he ministered through the country. She served as his secretary and studying German in her spare time. When her father died in 1872, she became head of the household because her mother had died before her father’s death.
In 1873, after witnessing a young boy have his leg run over by a loaded wagon and the crowd’s reaction to it, she vowed never to see another human being in need of aid again and not be able to help. So, she decided to become a doctor. Fraser began to study under the direction of Dr. Michael D. Benedict’s and as a result of hard work and his influence she was able to get admitted to Syracuse University College of Medicine in 1873. When Fraser received her M.D. in the spring of 1876, she became one of the first African-American women physicians in the nation. She began her internship at Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she was well-respected by her colleagues.
She was known throughout the hospital, in particular by the children as “Miss Doc.” Although she specialized in pediatric and obstetric care, she also frequently cared for patients dealing with anxiety issues and mental health problems. In the fall of 1878, Dr. Fraser moved to Boston to fill a six-month vacancy in an internship at the New England Hospital for Women and Children. A year later, she went to Washington to live with her sister Amelia and their Aunt Tin. She traveled abroad and throughout the United States. In 1920, Fraser developed kidney disease and memory loss. She died in her daughter’s arms in 1933.

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