“Dr. Charlotte Fairbanks, served in WWI as the surgeon in charge of the American Women’s Hospital unit, a group of 42 women, doctors, nurses, chauffeurs, and machinists whose work was recognized by more than one government. Dr. “Charlotte” and her unit spent a year in France, ministering to the sick, starving and wounded. The last eight months the unit was quartered in one of the most devastated regions of that war-stricken land. The suffering was horrible. The doctors of France were all at the front and these American women carried on.
For her remarkable contribution in saving the lives of hundreds of men, women and children, Dr. Fairbanks was decorated by the French Government. She was awarded several medals, among them the gold medal, Medal Reconaissance, and was made a citizen of France. Dr. Charlotte never spoke of her accolades. It was extracted from her proud mother and she had to learn from the pens and lips of others, her daughter’s associates in France and through French newspapers.
After graduation from St. Johnsbury (VT) Academy, Dr. Fairbanks took her A.B. from Smith College in 1894, her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1896. The Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania awarded her the degree of M.D. in 1902. From 1902 to 1904 she was an intern in the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 1913 Dr. Fairbanks was made a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons.”
From Our “Dr. Charlotte”, by Gertrude S. Menut, Drexel College of Medicine, Women Physicians, 1850’s-1970’s.
Stay tuned… Dr. Charlotte, an incredible doctor, will appear in my novel as an important historical figure, and classmate.
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