From India, Japan and Syria, 19th Century Women Who Trekked to Philadelphia for Medical School

Drexel News Blog

Three international students at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1885: Dr. Anandibai Joshee, class of 1886, who was the first Indian woman to earn an MD; Japan’s Dr. Kei Okami, class of 1889, and Dr. Sabat Islambooly, class of 1890, from Syria. Photo courtesy of the Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Three international students at the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1885: Dr. Anandibai Joshee, class of 1886, who was the first Indian woman to earn an MD; Japan’s Dr. Kei Okami, class of 1889, and Dr. Sabat Islambooly, class of 1890, from Syria. Photo courtesy of the Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine

You might not expect radio to be the medium popularizing an old photo, but so it is this month, with a photo of some extraordinary medical students in Pennsylvania in 1885, who were featured on Public Radio International’s “The World.”  A version of the story is continuing to air on the BBC World Service in the U.K.

The photo depicts three students from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP), each dressed in the traditional garb of her home country (India, Japan and Syria), at a time when it was unusual for anyone to study…

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