She was the first female to earn a M.D. from the U-M Medical School, graduating with highest honors in the Class of 1871
As the university’s bicentennial celebration continues, it’s the perfect time to honor the people, places and events that helped make U-M and Michigan Medicine the beacon of education, health care and research it is today.
One such person was Amanda Sanford, the first female to earn a M.D. from the U-M Medical School, graduating with highest honors in her class in 1871.
To dually celebrate the University's bicentennial and Women’s History Month, the Medical School is honoring the accomplishments of Sanford, whose willingness to pursue the study of medicine at a time when gender inequality pervaded many professional careers is but a small attestation to her courage, perseverance and resilience.
Sanford came to Ann Arbor after growing up in New York state and spending 18 months training at New England Hospital. Her graduation thesis was a thorough review of a common obstetrical complication at the time. She went on to practice obstetrics, gynecology, surgery and general medicine in New York and across the globe, spending time in London and Paris.