How Susan La Flesche Picotte became the 1st Native American medical doctor


November 7, 2023

John Yang:

November is Native American Heritage Month, a celebration of the traditions and languages of U. S. Indigenous communities. Tonight, the story of the first Native American to earn a medical degree. A pioneer at a time when she had few rights, either as a woman or as an American Indian, a child.

Of the 19th century American frontier, Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte was a trailblazer in Native American healthcare as they were moved to Indian reservations, sometimes after brutal wars with US. soldiers.

She was the youngest daughter of Mary Gail and Joseph La Flesche, who was of French and Indian descent and was the last recognized chief of the Omaha.


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