NYMC > About NYMC > History > College for Women > Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier

Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier, M.D. (1813-1888)‌‌

‌Foundress and dean, New York Medical College and Hospital for Women‌

Hometown: Plainfield, New Jersey
Born: December 11, 1813
Died: April 26, 1888

Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier, M.D., practiced medicine in New York specializing in obstetrics and surgery. As New York state barred women as physicians in hospitals, in 1863 Dr. Lozier 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.

In 1860, prior to opening the school, Lozier began a series of lectures from her home on anatomy, physiology, and hygiene as these topics were regularly neglected in women’s education. Seeing high demand for the lectures and tired of seeing qualified women get turned away from medical school, Dr. Lozier, with the help of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was able to persuade the New York State legislature to grant her a charter for a women’s medical college. In 1863, the New York Medical College for Women opened with seven female students in the inaugural class, and a faculty of eight doctors, four men and four women.

Over the next twenty-five years, the school grew and placed more than 200 female graduates in medical practice throughout the U.S. and abroad. The school’s hospital was the first place in New York where women could be treated by doctors of their own gender, and its clinic attracted up to 2,000 female patients each year.  

Dr. Lozier gave the commencement address at the medical school’s 25th graduation ceremony in 1888 and passed away two days later at the age of 74.

In 1917, a year before the U.S. national amendment, New York state grants women suffrage. The following year, in 1918, for the first time, women graduate physicians are 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, deems 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.