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Dorothy Klenke Nash

On October 24, 1898 Dorothy Klenke Nash American surgeon based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is born. She was considered the first American woman to become a neurosurgeon, and the only American woman neurosurgeon from 1928 to 1960. (Wikipedia)

Dr Dorothy Klenke Nash became the first female neurosurgeon in the United States in 1928 and maintained her status as the country’s only female neurosurgeon until 1960. She graduated with her medical degree from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1927 and then trained at the Neurologic Institute of New York under Dr Byron Stookey. During her training, she contributed to the advancement of neurosurgical practice through academic research. In 1931, she married Charles B. Nash, and together they had 2 children, George (1932) and Dorothy Patricia (1937). Dr Nash became a senior surgeon at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in 1942. Shortly thereafter, she joined the inaugural University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurosurgery led by Dr Stuart N. Rowe and became an instructor of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In acknowledgment of her advocacy for public access to services for mental health and cerebral palsy, Dr Nash was recognized as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania (1953) and honored by Mercy Hospital (1957), Bryn Mawr College (1960), and Columbia University (1968). She retired from neurosurgical practice in 1965, at which time she devoted herself to her grandchildren and her Catholic faith. She died on March 5, 1976 at the age of 77. With unwavering tenacity, Dr Nash paved the way for all women in neurosurgery. (National Library of Medicine)

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