Susan Dimock, M.D.
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Susan Dimock, the first woman member of the North Carolina Medical Society, was born in the spring of 1847 in Washington, North Carolina to Mary Malvina Owens and Henry Dimock. Her father was a lawyer and editor of the "North State Whig" and her mother was a teacher and manager of a local hotel. Susan was taught by her mother and later attended a girl's school taught by a "Mr. Boghart". Shortly after her father's death in 1863, Susan Dimock and her mother moved to Boston Susan entered a course of study at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston (NEHWC) and applied to Harvard Medical School. When her application was rejected, she turned to Europe and entered the University of Zurich in 1868. She graduated three years later and spent several months training in European hospitals. She decided to return to North Carolina but the all-male North Carolina Medical Society would only grant her honorary membership which was not enough for her. She wanted full membership. She rejoined the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston as a resident physician. She exhibited unusual surgical skills, developed a private practice and also developed the first graded school of nursing in the United States. Dr. Dimock's concentration was on obstetrics and gynecology. At 28 years old, Dr. Dimock lost her life on May 8, 1875, in a shipwreck on a voyage to Europe for rest and study before a scheduled return to the United States for resumption of her profession. Accompanied by two friends, Elizabeth "Bessie" Greene and Caroline Crane, Dr. Susan Dimock boarded the steamship Schiller in New York, bound for Europe. The Schiller, a strongly built, iron-rigged steamship, met destruction on a reef off the Scilly Isles, while sailing through heavy fog. Dr. Dimock was among the 311 people who drowned. Her body was returned to Boston for interment at Forest Hills Cemetery. In 1939 on East Main Street between Market and Bonner streets, the N.C. Department of Conservation and Development erected a historic marker in tribute to Dr. Susan Dimock. A historic marker honoring Dr. Susan Dimock stands on East Main Street. The original grave marker for Dr. Susan Dimock was moved to Washington from Boston and placed in the St. Peter's Episcopal Church cemetery. The marker became available when a group in Boston decided to replace the original grave marker with a replica made of granite. Her marble tombstone was moved to Washington in 1996 when this original tombstone was replaced at her gravesite in Boston with one made of granite. Dr. Dimock's tombstone can be viewed at the St. Peter's Episcopal Church cemetery.