175 Makers of History: Elizabeth Gambrell

Elizabeth Gambrell 31G 46M 49MR
First Female Medical Student at Emory

If Elizabeth Gambrell never had attended medical school, she still would have had a remarkable career.

She came to Emory in 1928 to take a job as a technician in the pathology department at the Emory's School of Medicine. Then, after receiving her master's degree in biology here, she became an instructor in bacteriology. Completing her doctorate at the University of Chicago, she received national recognition for her research on avian malaria.

Another degree in public health rounded out her portfolio, and she returned to Emory in 1941 to become the second woman to serve as a full-time faculty member in the medical school. In 1943 she became the first woman to matriculate at the School of Medicine, where she continued to teach her classmates as a faculty member. Gambrell later became the first female chief resident at Grady Memorial Hospital, rejoining the clinical faculty of the medical school in 1950.