Clotilde Dent Bowen, Medicine

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Clotilde Bowen (1923-2011) was the first African American woman to graduate from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1947.

Dr. Bowen became the first female physician in the United States Army in 1956 where she served as a pulmonary specialist at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. She became the first female commander of a military hospital when she was assigned to the former Fort. Benjamin Harrison in Indiana.

Dr. Bowen later completed a second residency at a Veterans Administration hospital in Pennsylvania in psychiatry. She became the first African-American woman to be named chief of psychiatry in two Veterans Administration hospitals and two Army medical centers.

Dr. Bowen was awarded a Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit in 1971 for her work to set up drug treatment centers and her efforts to lessen racial conflicts during the Vietnam War. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1974. Today the Ohio State College of Medicine annually recognizes Dr. Bowen’s legacy with an annual scholarship awarded in her name to select students, residents and faculty members. The Bowen Award is designed to recognize a current female student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine who exemplifies many of the same characteristics as Dr. Clotilde Bowen: one who is a pioneer, who stays strong in the face of adversity, and who is a leader to the community around her.