Elizabeth Magnus Cohen, 1820-1921

  • Elizabeth-Magnus-Cohen-WWP

Woman Category: HealthWoman Tags: NOLA Women and Physician

  • HerStory
    Elizabeth Magnus Cohen, 1820-1921

    The first woman physician in Louisiana.

    Born in NYC to Jewish parents of British descent. She married Dr. Aaron Cohen, and they had five children. After her eldest son died from measles, Elizabeth decided to become a doctor and devote her life to helping mothers keeping their children alive. At the age of 34, she admitted to the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania – the first women’s medical school in the US.
     
    After graduation, Magnus Cohen moved with her husband to New Orleans and opened a private clinic in the French Quarter, where she treated mostly women and children. That was a period of recurring yellow fever and smallpox epidemics, and Magnus Cohen was called to treat patients at list once a night. Although she had an M.D degree, the city directory listed her as a midwife. Only in 1876, after 20 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Magnus Cohen received the title of a physician.
     
    She retired at 67. Outliving her husband and children, she admitted as a resident in the Department of the Aged and Infirm of the Touro Infirmary. During her stay, she volunteered to manage the hospital’s sewing and linen room.
     

    “I’m glad to see the girls of today getting an education. In my youth you had to fight for it. And I believe in suffrage, too—things will be better when women can vote and can protect their own property and their own children […]”

    “I’m glad to see the girls of today getting an education. In my youth you had to fight for it. And I believe in suffrage, too—things will be better when women can vote and can protect their own property and their own children […]”

     


    Another Interesting Anecdote:

    • She was referred by other physicians as “lucky hand”, because of the claim that she had never lost a patient.
  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • Elizabeth Magnus Cohen, 1820-1921

    Woman Tags: NOLA Women, Physician
     

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  • Photo credit - Wikipedia.


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