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Wed, 03.13.1850

The Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania is Founded

*The Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP) founding is celebrated on this date in 1850. 

This was the second medical institution established to train women in medicine to earn the M.D. degree and one of the earliest colleges a Black woman could earn a medical degree. The New England Female Medical College had been established two years earlier, in 1848.  The mid-19th century Feminist Movement generated support for the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania. The Society of Friends in Philadelphia was additionally supportive of the women's rights movements and the development of the Female MCP.

MCP was initially located in the rear of 229 Arch Street, Philadelphia (the address was later changed to 627 Arch Street when Philadelphia renumbered streets in 1858).  In July 1861, the board of corporators of the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania chose to rent rooms for the college from the Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia on North College Avenue.  Originally called the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, the college changed its name in 1867 to the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.  In that class, Rebecca Cole (class of 1867) the second Black female physician in the United States, graduated. 

Other alumni include Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson (class of 1891), the first Black woman to become a doctor in Alabama.  Louise Celia Fleming (class of 1895), the first Black female to attend and graduate, and Eliza Ann Grier, (class of 1897), the first Black female physician licensed to practice in Georgia.  The associated Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1861. Upon deciding to admit men in 1970, the college was renamed the Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP).  

In 1930, the college opened its new campus in East Falls, which combined teaching and the clinical care of a hospital in one overall facility. It was the first purpose-built hospital in the nation. In 1993, the college and hospital merged with Hahnemann Medical School. In 2003, the two colleges were absorbed by the Drexel University College of Medicine.  

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