It’s the birthday of Fe del Mundo, M.D., born on this day in 1911 in Intramuros, Manila.
When her older sister died of appendicitis at the age of 11, del Mondo decided that when she grew up she wanted to become a doctor to the poor.
She graduated from the University of the Philippines in 1926, was class valedictorian from medical school in 1933 and placed third among students qualifying for the medical boards that year.
When the President of the Philippines offered her a scholarship to complete her training at any university in the world, the chose to study pediatrics Harvard and in 1936 she was accepted to the Harvard Medical School.
Unknown to Harvard officials they had admitted the first woman and first Asian to their all-male student body. Nine years later, Harvard began to routinely accept female students in 1945.