NC’s First Female Licensed Physician Recognized

annie-lowrie-alexander-mdAnnie Lowrie Alexander, MD, who in 1885 became the state’s first licensed woman physician, has been recognized with a state highway historical marker on North Tryon Street in Charlotte, where she practiced for over 40 years.

Dr. Alexander graduated from Woman’s Medical College in Philadelphia in 1884 and became a member of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) in 1885. She was one of the first women to practice medicine in the south.

She became esteemed by her male colleagues, and in 1909 she was elected to her first of several terms as president of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society.

Dr. Alexander’s practice focused largely on obstetrics and gynecology. She worked from an office in her home.

She “spent her life in service to others, encouraged by her father, Dr. John Brevard Alexander, to follow him into the medical field,” said Susan Kluttz, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which oversees the highway marker program. “She was a beacon to women and proof to men that females could undertake and excel in this profession.”

Dr. Alexander was nominated for a highway historical marker by Serena Chu, a student at South Central High School in Pitt County. Chu created a web page about Alexander and entered it in a North Carolina History Day competition, winning second prize at the state competition. She subsequently nominated Alexander for a highway marker.

 
 

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