Duke Hospital Opens
Dr. Mary Bernheim is the only female among approximately 70 MDs or PhDs on the Duke School of Medicine faculty."
1st Female Four-Year SOM Graduate
Dr. Eleanor Easley is the first female to graduate from the four-year program at Duke School of Medicine. She entered the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and later co-founded the Durham Women's Clinic.
Susan Dees Joins Faculty
Dr. Susan Dees joins the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics. In 1948, she became the first female Division Chief in the School of Medicine. In 1958, she was the first female in the School of Medicine to achieve the rank of full professor.
Mary Duke Biddle Trent in Social Services Division
Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle Trent (later Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans) works in the hospital social services division. She married two Duke physicians, served as a Duke Trustee, and maintained continuous support of Duke Medicine and Duke University through the Duke Endowment and other channels.
1st Physician Anesthetist
Dr. Ruth Martin is the first physician anesthetist in the hospital.
Duke’s licensed practical nursing (LPN) program begins
Duke’s licensed practical nursing (LPN) program begins. Although there were already several others in the state, Duke’s is the only one in North Carolina established exclusively for training African American nurses. Clydie Pugh-Myers was one of the graduates of this first class.
1st Microbiology PhD
Dr. Hilda Willett is the first person to get a PhD in the Duke Department of Microbiology. She joined the faculty in 1950.
1st Female Chief Resident in Medicine
Dr. Grace Kerby serves as the first female chief resident in the Department of Medicine. In 1963, she became the first female full Professor, and in 1965, she was the first female Division Chief in the Department.
Sara Dent Joins Faculty
Dr. Sara Dent joins the faculty in the Department of Surgery. She became Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology in Duke Hospital in 1968.
Doris Howell Joins Faculty
Dr. Doris Howell joins the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics. In 1970, she was the first female to receive a Distinguished Duke Medical Alumni Award. She later served as a Department Chair (Pediatrics and Family Medicine) in two other medical schools.
Jane Elchlepp Joins Faculty
Dr. Jane Elchlepp joins the faculty in the Department of Pathology. She later became a facilities planner for the Chancellor's office, playing a major role in the design of Duke Hospital North, which opened in 1980.
Mary D.B.T. Semans Joins the Board of The Duke Endowment
Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans became a trustee of The Duke Endowment in 1957 when she took her great aunt’s place on the board, and she served as its first female chairman from 1982-2001. She marked her 50th year on the board in 2007.
Shirley Osterhout Joins Faculty
Dr. Shirley Osterhout joins the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics. She headed the Duke Poison Control Center.
Rebecca Buckley Joins Faculty
Dr. Rebecca Buckley joins the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics. She perfected a surgical technique for treating babies with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID) and in 1979, was the first female given a distinguished professorship at the School of Medicine.
Jacqueline Johnson Jackson Joins Faculty
Dr. Jacqueline Johnson Jackson, the first tenured female black faculty member in the School of Medicine, joins Duke as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.
Sheila Counce-Nicklas Becomes an Associate Professor
Dr. Sheila Counce-Nicklas becomes an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy, serving as the first female in the department.
Marianne Breslin Joins Faculty
Dr. Marianne Breslin joins the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry as the first female in the department. Beginning in 1973, she served as Chief of the Division of Psychosomatic Medicine.
Catherine Wilfert Joins Faculty
Dr. Catherine Wilfert joins the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics. She developed a clinical trial that drastically diminished mother-to-infant transmission of AIDS in the United States.
Lois Pounds Joins Faculty
Dr. Lois Pounds joins the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics and later directs Outpatient Services of the Department. In 1987, she becomes Associate Dean for Medical Education and the Director of Medical School Admissions.
1st African-American Respiratory Therapist
Dr. Thelma Brown, who began her career as a licensed practical nurse, becomes the first African-American Respiratory Therapist and cardiac catheterization professional.
1st Female PA Graduate
Joyce Nichols is the first woman to graduate from the Duke Physician Assistant Program, and also is the first female African-American graduate of the program.
Jane Richardson Joins Faculty
Jane Richardson joins the faculty in the Department of Anatomy. She became noted for drawing proteins and creating a standardized way of portraying them visually.
Eva Salber Joins Faculty
Dr. Eva Salber joins the faculty in the Department of Community and Family Medicine. She developed medical programs for rural and underserved populations in the area.
Ruby Wilson Becomes Dean of the Duke School of Nursing
Dr. Ruby Wilson is appointed as Dean of the Duke School of Nursing. She became the first female to receive the Duke University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service.
1st Tenured African-American Female SOM Faculty
Dr. Jacquelyne Johnson Jackson, who served as an Associate Professor of Medical Sociology in the Department of Psychiatry, was the first tenured black female faculty member in the Duke School of Medicine.
Evelyn Schmidt Becomes Director of Lincoln Community Health Center
Dr. Evelyn Schmidt becomes the Director of the Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham. She also had an appointment in the Duke Department of Pediatrics.
1st African-American SON Graduate
Donna Allen Harris receives her Bachelor's degree in nursing, becoming the first African American to graduate from the Duke University School of Nursing.
Frances Widmann Joins faculty
Dr. Frances Widmann joins the faculty in the Department of Pathology. She headed the blood bank at the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital.
1st African-American Female SOM Graduate
Dr. Jean Spaulding graduates as the first African-American female from the School of Medicine. She later became a psychiatrist and served as Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and a Trustee of the Duke Endowment.
2nd African-American Female SOM Graduate
Dr. Joanne A. Peebles Wilson graduates as the second African-American female from the School of Medicine. She served as a gastroenterologist at Duke, and in 1995, she became the second female full professor in the Department of Medicine.
2nd Female to Graduate from Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency
Dr. Sezer Aksel is the second female residency graduate in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Evelyn Booker Wicker Becomes Director of Nursing Services for Duke South
From 1978 to 1986, Dr. Evelyn Booker Wicker is Director of Nursing Services for Duke South Hospital which included supervisory capacity for all nursing services in Duke South. In 1986, she became Director of Nursing in the Division of Women's and Children's Health, and from 1991 to 2000, she was Director of the Hospital Career Development Program at Duke University Medical Center Human Resources.
Brenda Armstrong Joins Faculty
Dr. Brenda Armstrong, pediatric cardiologist, joins the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics. She served as the Associate Dean of Medical Education and the Dean of Admissions.
Elizabeth Bullitt Graduates Residency
Dr. Elizabeth Bullitt becomes the first female residency graduate in the Department of Surgery.
Dorothy Brundage Serves as Interim Dean for SON
Dr. Dorothy Brundage serves as Interim Dean at the SON from 1987 to 1991 focusing on maintaining stability and normal operations, while keeping the the master’s program students engaged and challenged.
Susan Chase Lottich Becomes First Surgery Chief Resident
Dr. Susan Chase Lottich becomes the first surgery chief resident to graduate at Duke.
1st Female President of Duke University
Dr. Nannerl Keohane begins her tenure as the first female President of Duke University.
Brenda Nevidjon Named CEO Duke University Hospital
Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN, becomes the first nurse and first woman to be named the Chief Operating Officer of Duke University Hospital, a position she held until 2000.
Kathleen Clem Joins Faculty
Dr. Kathleen Clem joins the faculty in the Department of Surgery. She was the first female Division Chief in the deparment and the first Chief of the Division of Emergency.
1st Female Department Chair
Dr. Brigid Hogan becomes the first female department chair in the Duke School of Medicine.
MaryAnn Black Becomes Associate Vice President for Community Relations
Ms. MaryAnn Black becomes Associate Vice President for Community Relations for the Duke University Health System. In this role, she helped to develop and implement strategies and programs to enhance the health system's relationships with local communities and groups supporting the health and human service needs of the people of Durham, N.C.
1st Female Dean of Duke School of Medicine
Dr. Nancy Andrews begins service as the first female Dean of Duke School of Medicine.
1st Female Chair of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Dr. Elizabeth DeLong becomes the first female Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.
1st Female Chair of Clinical Department
Dr. Mary Klotman becomes the first female to chair a Duke clinical department when she is appointed as Chair of the Department of Medicine.
1st Female Chair of Psychiatry
Dr. Sarah Lisanby becomes the first female Chair of Duke’s Department of Psychiatry.
1st Female Provost
Dr. Sally Kornbluth becomes the first female Duke University Provost.
1st Female Chair of Pediatrics
Dr. Ann Reed becomes the first female Chair of Duke’s Department of Pediatrics.
Mary Klotman Named Dean of School of Medicine
Dr. Mary Klotman becomes the Dean of the Duke School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs.