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Google Doodle Honors First American Indian to Get a Medical Degree

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The Google Doodle on the search engine’s homepage Saturday features a ceiling-shattering doctor: Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first American Indian to gain a medical degree.

The illustration of “Dr. Sue” shows the trailblazing physician between her alma mater, the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, and the hospital she later fundraised to set up on the Omaha reservation in Nebraska, where she grew up, according to Google.

Picotte cited her motivation for pursuing medicine as stemming from a moment in her youth when she saw an Indian woman denied the care she needed, according to the National Library of Medicine.

After graduating at the head of her class, she came back to Nebraska and her reservation to attend to people across an area that spanned 1,350 miles, the Google blog post said.

Picotte died in 1915 after putting the money together for a medical facility on the reservation.

“A single widowed woman built a modern hospital without a single tax dollar on an Indian reservation in 1913,” Picotte biographer Joe Starita told the Omaha World-Herald. “That was unheard of then. That’s unheard of now.”

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