February 21, 2011

First Woman Dentist – 1866

Lucy Hobbs met up with a lot of closed doors—just because she was a woman. But Hobbs made a habit of responding to a closed door by just looking for another door.

She was denied admission to medical school because she was a woman. She learned dentistry as a private pupil and managed to apprentice with a dentist—but then she was still denied admission to dental college because—you got it—she was a woman.

She persevered and opened up a practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, and later Iowa. Finally, four years into her career as a dentist, Hobbs was admitted to the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.

And on this date in 1866, Lucy Hobbs became the first woman in the nation (and probably the world) to receive a DDS degree (a doctorate in dentistry).

By the way, later in her career Hobbs moved her dental practice to Chicago, Ohio. There she met and married Civil War veteran James Taylor. He was working as a railway maintenance worker but his wife taught him dentistry, and he too became a dentist.

Learn about dental health.

Healthy Teeth is a great website. 

Colgate Kids has a coloring page and games. 

Here is a word-search puzzle. 

Today is also Presidents' Day in the U.S. 
The date is chosen to be near George Washington's Feb. 22 and Abraham Lincoln's Feb. 12 birthdays. For more on these birthdays, see last year's posts.

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