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Moments in Surgical History
April 2000

Mary Edwards Walker

Arch Surg. 2000;135(4):489. doi:10.1001/archsurg.135.4.489

BORN IN OSWEGO TOWN, NY, in 1832, Mary Walker is one of America's more eccentric and intriguing medical personalities. Long determined to become a physician, in an era when medicine was not a generally approved calling for women, she entered Syracuse Medical College, Syracuse, NY, and after a little more than 12 months of study was awarded an MD degree (1855). Walker soon married a former medical school classmate, Albert E. Miller, and moved to Rome, NY, where she and her husband practiced together. A life-long nonconformist, Walker wore trousers and a dress-coat at the wedding, insisted on the omission of the usual promise to honor and obey, and went by her maiden name.

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