Up until the early 1900s, New York state barred women as physicians in hospitals. In response, in 1863, Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier, M.D., who practiced medicine in New York specializing in obstetrics and surgery, opened a medical school exclusively for female students, the New York Medical College for Women, which was staffed and supervised by the College’s male faculty. Maria C. Ewen serves as first president of the women's college board.
In 1867, Dr. Lozier’s institution graduated the first female Canadian physician, Emily Stowe, M.D. 1867, who had previously been refused admission to every medical school in her native Canada. Susan McKinney, M.D. 1870, the first African-American female physician in New York State and the third in the nation, graduated from New York Medical College for Women with the highest grade in the class.
In 1917, a year before the U.S. national amendment, New York state granted women suffrage. The following year, in 1918, for the first time, women graduate physicians were accepted in New York City municipal hospitals as interns. Later that same year, the College's Board of Trustees, in accord with the board president of the New York Medical College for Women, deemed it feasible to close the women’s college and transfer the women students to the College at large (then, known as "New York Homeopathic Medical College and Flower Hospital"). Thus, making the College fully co-educational.