Raquel E. Cohen, MPH '45, MD '49,
Raquel E. Cohen, MPH '45, MD '49, was a member of Harvard Medical School's first coeducational class. She is an internationally recognized expert in the field of intervention and assistances to survivors of disaster.Born in 1922, and a native of Lima, Peru, she graduated from the National University of San Marcos in 1942. She earned her Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1945, and her Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School in 1949.
In a 2006 oral history interview, Dr. Cohen recalled the story of her admission to Harvard Medical School:I went into the School of Public Health to get a Master’s. At that point, Harvard Medical School opened the doors to women and the teachers … suggested that if I wanted to go back to Lima and work in nutrition, I would be working with doctors and doctors only speak to doctors, so I better get myselfan MD. … I applied to the medical school, I was interviewed and admitted.
88 women ultimately applied to Harvard Medical School in 1945, Dr. Cohen was one of twelve accepted to the Class of 1949.
At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Cohen became an academic clinical instructor in 1960, clinical associate in psychiatry in 1968, and assistant professor of psychiatry in 1971. She ultimately left the school to become a Tenured Professor at the University of Miami Medical School in 1982 after her involvement in the Cuban Mariel Refugee Crisis.