Sound Off

Who was the first woman to earn an M.D. degree from KU Medical School?

According to information from an article, “Ladies of Courage: The First Twelve Women Graduates of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, 1906-1920,” written by Nancy Hulston, director of the KU Medical Center Archives, there were two women who became the first women to graduate from the school at the same time in 1906. In September 1902, Mildred Curtis, from Neosho Falls, enrolled in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, a proprietary medical school in Kansas City, Kan. In September 1903, Melvia Fairetta Avery, of Wakefield, also enrolled in the same school. In 1905, the KU School of Medicine was formed by joining the college with two other proprietary schools located in Kansas City, Mo. Students attending the three schools automatically became students at KU Med. Curtis and Avery both completed their fourth year of medical education at the new school, and graduated together as its first women graduates on June 6, 1906.


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