Jennie McCowen Community

A pioneer for women in medicine and a role model for all current and aspiring physicians, Jennie McCowen's life is a true embodiment of community service. 

2017-2018 Staff and Student Leadership

Coming up: McCowen Learning Community Events

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About Dr. Jennie McCowen

Our community celebrates the career of Dr. Jennie McCowen, who was one of the first women to enroll in and graduate from the University of Iowa Medical Department in 1876. McCowen serves as an inspiration to medical students today by way of her service to the community:

  • McCowen served as the director of the Hospital for the Insane in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and later as a private practitioner in Davenport, Iowa.
  • She founded the Iowa State Society of Medical Women to dissuade theories that linked insanity in women to disorders of the female organs.
  • McCowen also encouraged children's interest in science. She worked with the Davenport Academy of Sciences to strengthen connections between them and local public schools. She founded and supported the "Lend-A-Hand Club" in Davenport which assisted working class girls and young women.
  • She developed an interest in tuberculosis prevention and treatment, and she was a founding member of the Iowa Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis.

Dr. McCowen is still a role model to students today, and the Jennie McCowen Learning Community aims to continue her reputation for community service. The Learning Community has forged relationships with local programs such as the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Adopt a Familty, DOC Dash, and many more. The McCowen Community hopes to inspire the next generation of students just as they have been inspired by Jennie McCowen.

Read Jennie McCowen's full story: PDF iconJennie McCowen Learning Community.pdf