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Hayhurst Led a Life of Service Across Pharmacy, Medicine and Education

Published on December 14, 2020

Susan Hayhurst, PCP 1883Susan Hayhurst was PCP’s first female graduate, but that distinction she earned in 1883 was just one in a long, remarkable life of professional service across pharmacy, medicine, and education. Born to an old line of Pennsylvania Quakers in 1820, Hayhurst was talented in mathematics and the natural sciences from an early age. Serving as a teacher and tutor for many years, she soon entered the Philadelphia Women’s Medical College.

Despite the ostracism of her peers and society at large, Hayhurst went on to serve at the Philadelphia’s Women’s Hospital, first as a physician, and then as the resident apothecary. A lifelong learner, Hayhurst entered the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy to further hone her skills, becoming its first female graduate at age 63. Thirty-three additional years of teaching and practicing both medicine and pharmacy after this made Hayhurst’s a full life as an educator, physician, advocate, and pharmacist by the time of her death in 1909.

Being a woman in pharmacy was still a rarity for many decades after Hayhurst’s time, but the scores of women she trained, and the woman they trained, helped to level the discipline’s playing field, and create the emergent majority of women in the pharmaceutical profession today. 

Categories: Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Alumni, Proven Everywhere, History, Bicentennial