Flashback Friday: Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson was an American surgeon and political activist. The first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and the first woman to become a member of the Boston Surgical Society.
Born in Pittsburg, Texas, Dr. Jefferson was the only child of Millard and Guthrie Jefferson, a Methodist minister, and a school teacher. Dr. Jefferson was raised in Carthage, Texas. At a young age, "Millie" followed the town doctor around on his horse drawn buggy, this would later inspire her to become a doctor. At the age of 16 years, she earned her bachelor's
degree from Texas College. Since she was too young to attend medical school, she went to Tufts University where she received her master's degree. She then went on to Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1951, becoming the first black woman to do so. After graduating from medical school, she did a surgical internship at Boston City Hospital, becoming the first woman to do so. She was also the first female doctor at the former Boston University Medical Center. She would later become the first woman to become a member of the Boston Surgical Society. She was also wholeheartedly committed to the Pro-Life movement. Dr. Jefferson was one of the founders of the Value of Life Committee of Massachusetts, the National Right to Life Committee, Black Americans for Life, and openly spoke up for the pre-born child with other right to life organizations. Dr. Jefferson, a trailblazer and true pro-life pioneer, helped found the National Right to Life Committee, was President of the Committee for three terms and then continued to served on the Committee's Board of Directors. We pay homage to Dr. Jefferson and all of her contributions.