First recorded female doctor in Saginaw, Michigan
Image: Michigan Women's Hall of Fame
Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
Longstreet was one of the first (if not the first) female doctors in Saginaw, Michigan. Longstreet grew up in Saginaw and received training as a nurse there, graduating in 1893. Hospital officials encouraged her to study medicine and she graduated with honors from the University of Illinois Medical School in 1904. She was one of 19 women and 200 men in her class. Dr. Longstreet built a sizable general practice in Saginaw, but preferred to specialize in pediatrics. For many years, she was the only staff physician at Saginaw's Children's Hospital. Her patients remembered fondly how she carried candy in her medical bag and how mysterious packages of food and clothing would show up at an indigent patient's house after she made a house call. In 1921, Dr. Longstreet decided to specialize in children only and did postgraduate work in pediatrics in New York City, while attending summer sessions at Harvard University. Dr. Longstreet was also dedicated to the advancement of women and helped coordinate social service groups in Saginaw, founded Saginaw's YWCA, and created a home for girls and one for the aged. She was nominated as Michigan's Outstanding Woman of 1938 and was the first woman to receive Saginaw's highest civic award, Outstanding Citizen of the Year (1940).
Saginaw Hall of Fame, biographical sketches by Ed Miller and Jean Beach, published by The Saginaw Hall of Fame, 2000.
Michigan's Women's Hall of Fame, Lansing, Michigan.