Woman of the Century/Anna Lukens
LUKENS, Miss Anna, physician, born in Philadelphia, Pa., 29th October, 1844, of Quaker parents. The family lived in Plymouth, Pa., from 1855 to 1870. Anna was educated in the Friends' Seminary, Philadelphia, and began the study of medicine with Dr. Hiram Corson, of Montgomery county, Pa., in 1867. ANNA LUKENS. She was graduated in the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania on 13th March, 1870. She attended clinics in the Pennsylvania Hospital on that memorable day in November, 1H69, when students from the Woman's Medical College were first admitted. Hisses and groans were given during the lecture. Miss Anna E. Broomall and Miss Anna Lukens led the line as the women passed out of the hospital grounds amid the jeers and insults of the male students, who followed them for some distance, throwing stones and mud at them. She was elected a member of Montgomery County Medical Society, in Morris- town, Pa., in the spring of 1870, soon after graduation. The society had never before elected a woman. It was done through the efforts of Dr Hiram Corson, the brave champion of women physicians for more than forty years. Dr. Lukens was the youngest member of her class and was graduated with the highest vote that had been awarded in the college in many years. During the spring and summer of 1870, after graduation, she was engaged in the special study of pharmacy, attending a course of lectures given to a few women by Prof Edward Parrish in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, in connection with practical work in Prof. Parrish's private laboratory. In October, 1870, she entered the Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia for six months' experience as interne. In the fall of 1871 she began to teach in the college as instructor in the chair of physiology. During the winter of 1871 and 1872, when Prof. Preston's health failed, she gave a number of lectures for her on physiology and took charge of her office practice which was continued at Prof. Preston's request for some months after the death of the latter, in April, 1872. During the spring of 1872 she taught pharmacy in the college by lectures and practical demonstrations in the dispensary of the Woman's Hospital. She was the first woman to apply for admission to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, to take the regular course with a view to graduation. Application was made in the spring of 1872. Several of the professors were favorable and expressed much cordiality, but thought such an innovation would be met by the students in a manner that would make it very unpleasant for a woman attending alone. Hearing of more liberality in the New York College of Pharmacy, where one woman was already studying, she began a course of lectures there in October, 1872, with the hope of receiving the diploma of that school. It was expected at that time that a professorship in pharmacy would be established in the Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia, and Dr. Lukens was invited to prepare for it. During the winter of 1872 and 1873 she took a course in analytical chemistry in the laboratory of Dr. Walz, of New York, working live hours a day, and attending lectures on pharmacy in the evening. She was forced to discontinue these lectures on account of eye troubles. In the spring of 1873 she was appointed attending physician to the Western Dispensary for Women and Children, the only dispensary on the west side under the charge of woman physicians. At the same time she was appointed attending physician to the Isaac T. Hopper Home, of the Women's Prison Association. She continued the work in the Western Dispensary until the winter of 1877, paying the rent for some months after the appropriation failed, in order to keep up the work She was elected a member of the New York County Medical Society in 1873. She had some private practice in New York City until 1877, when she was appointed assistant physician in the Nursery and Child's Hospital, Staten Island, with entire charge of the pharmaceutical department. Soon after she was elected a member of the Richmond County Medical Society. In February. 1880, she was appointed resident physician in the Nursery and Child's Hospital, which office she held until December, 1884. She was a member of the Staten Island Clinical Society, for which she prepared and read two papers, one on Omphalitis, and one on Noma Pudendi, both of which were published in the New York "Medical Journal." The paper on Omphalitis was copied in the London "Lancet" and noticed by the " British Medical Journal." In May, 1884, she went to Europe, carrying a letter of recommendation from the New York State Board of Health, the first ever given to a woman, which secured her admission to the principal hospitals for the study of diseases of children. In December, 1884, she entered upon private practice in New York City. She was elected consulting physician to the Nursery and Child's Hospital, Staten Island, and elected a fellow of the New York State Medical Association. She was present at the organization of the New York Committee for the Prevention of State Regulation of Vice, in 1876, and was appointed one of the vice-presidents, which office she still holds. She was elected a member of Sorosis in 1889. The work done in the various positions which Dr. Lukens has filled since she graduated has all been distinguished for its unfailing thoroughness. Her executive ability in hospital administration has been of a high standard and marked with the same methodical order that has characterized her whole career in life.