Research Heroes-Women of Wayne

The contribution of women to the world of scientific research and medicine is unequivocal. In a wonderful feature but Wayne State University, they highlight some of the outstanding contributions that some of these “Women of Wayne” have made to the advancement of science and medicine.

It begins with Anna Spencer Rankin, M.D., who graduated from the precursor to the Wayne State Medical School, in 1881, the first women graduate.

In 1886, 17 women worked with Dr. Charles Devendorf to start the Children’s Free Hospital Association, which served children of Detroit without regards to religion, race, or ability to pay.

Dr. Marjorie Peebles, became the first African American woman to graduate from the college of medicine in 1943, decades before the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965.

More recently, the article features Wayne State Alumnus, Dr. Mona Attisha who identified the elevated levels of lead in the blood of her pediatric patients in Fint, Michigan and who was named one of the most influential people in the world in 2015 by Time magazine.

This wonderful highlighting of the impact these individuals had on their times is truly inspirational, please check it out here.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Why was Dr. Rankin’s graduation from medical school so unusual at the time?
  2. Why was Dr. Peebles’ graduation from medical school so significant in 1943?
  3. How did Dr. Attisha’s experience at medical school in Detroit provide a foundation for her later work discovering the elevated blood lead levels in her patients in Flint?
  4. What is your reaction to reading the Wayne State Today article?
  5. What are 2 questions you would ask some of these women?

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