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Caroline Still Anderson

2023 Women’s History Month

Caroline Still Anderson

Caroline Still Anderson was a physician, educator, and activist.

She was a pioneering physician in the Philadelphia African-American community and one of the first Black women to become a physician in the United States.

After graduating from college, Still moved back to Philadelphia and became a teacher of elocution, drawing, and music, which ended in 1875.

In 1878, she began her medical career with an internship at Boston’s New England Hospital for Women and Children.

The racist board of the hospital rejected still’s initial application, and she was appointed only after visiting the city and meeting with the board in person, awed by her talent.

They repudiated their earlier decision, appointing Still to the internship unanimously.

After her internship ended in 1879, she moved back to her hometown, where she opened a dispensary in her new husband Matthew Anderson’s church.

Still also found a private medical practice.

In 1889, she revived her career as an educator, teaching hygiene, physiology, and public speaking while continuing her medical practice. That year, she and her husband founded a vocational and liberal arts school called the Berean Manual Training and Industrial School; Anderson was the assistant principal in addition to her teaching roles.

She also practiced medicine at Quaker institutions in Philadelphia.

Her career ended when she suffered a paralytic stroke in 1914.