Today we honor Fe del Mundo, the first woman enrolled at Harvard Medical School
Fe del Mundo, who lived to be 101 years old, is today’s inspiration. Born on this day in 1909, del Mundo would grow up to found the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines. As for her inspiration to become a doctor? It all had to do with del Mundo’s siblings.
Sadly, three of del Mundo’s eight siblings passed away while still infants, and her older sister died from appendicitis. Her older sister had wanted to be a doctor for the poor, which motivated del Mundo to do the same when her sister no longer could.
In 1933, del Mundo received her medical degree from the University of the Philippines in Manila. Thanks to her valedictorian status, and her exceptional performance on the medical board exam, President Manuel Quezon offered del Mundo a full scholarship to any school in United States of America. She accepted, and picked Harvard.
It wasn’t until she arrived that Harvard realized they had admitted their first woman.
According to her biography:
How’s that for badass?
Del Mundo would return to the Philippines in 1941, and go on to volunteer for the Red Cross, to found a pediatric clinic, and to pioneer work on infectious diseases in the Philippines. She passed away in 2011 at the age of 101.
So here’s to you, Fe del Mundo. Thanks for proving that a little girl can achieve exactly what she dreams, and so much more.