New York Women's History Month Healthcare
Patricia Bath

Patricia Bath

Patricia Bath(1942–Present), Patricia Bath was born and raised in Harlem. Encouraged by her parents to pursue her education, she graduated from Hunter College and went directly to Howard University Medical School. After medical school, Bath was offered a fellowship in Ophthalmology at Columbia University in 1969. Her work identified the disproportionate appearance of glaucoma in African-Americans. Bath also advocated for increased access to eye care in underserved communities. She completed her residency at New York University and moved to California to become a faculty member at UCLA, where she devoted many years researching the use of lasers to treat cataracts. Bath was a trailblazer in many areas: the first woman on the staff of UCLA’s Eye Institute; the first African-American resident in ophthalmology at NYU; and the first African-American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical device. Her Laserphaco Probe is used around the world to treat cataracts.


Dr. Susan McKinney Steward

Dr. Susan McKinney Steward

Dr. Susan McKinney Steward (1847–1918), McKinney Steward, born in Brooklyn, was the first African- American woman to earn a medical degree in New York State and the third to do so in the United States. She worked tirelessly to graduate as valedictorian from New York Medical College for Women in 1870. Along with a distinguished medical career specializing in prenatal care and childhood diseases, she was involved in the women’s suffrage movement.

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