S. Josephine Baker

Health Researcher and physician (1873 - 1945)

She attended the Women's Medical College in New York City to earn her MD. She said: It is true that the laboratory and the X-ray have added much that is valuable to our knowledge of diagnosis, but in this change of tactics the average doctor has lost much of his basic skill. Thirty years ago, we had to depend upon our sense of touch, sight, and hearing to make a diagnosis, and experience developed alertness that is not completely replaced by routine laboratory reports . . . She took a part-time job with the Department of Public health as a public school health inspector where she rose in the ranks to create and run the Bureau of Child Hygiene. She helped track down "typhoid Mary" (Mary Mallon). She was one of the first doctors to recognize how important being held is to a child's health. She perfected the application of sliver nitrate eye drops to infants, now a standard procedure to prevent eye infections in newborns. She was the first woman to be assistant surgeon general in the United States. She was also the first woman representative to the League of Nations - Health Committee representative for the United States.

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