Mary Blair Moody, MD, the University at Buffalo’s first female student, graduated from the medical school in 1876.
At the time of her enrollment in 1874, Blair Moody was the mother of five young boys and a baby daughter. Chronicling her experience in the Buffalo Medical Journal in June of 1896, Blair Moody noted that she was pursuing the study of medicine “on the same footing as the male students.”
As a medical student, Blair Moody quickly recognized that “capacity, desire and opportunity were the only recognized limits and we each and all encouraged to do our very best.” Blair Moody measured her studies “not by what was required but what was possible to be done.”
She won the class prize in minor operative surgery. At her graduation as a physician in 1876, cheers were audible from her six children seated in the gallery.
Blair Moody developed a professional motto that she felt was inculcated by her university training and studies: “The greatest good to the greatest number at the smallest cost to them.”
She became the first female member of the Erie County Medical Society, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a founder of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union of Buffalo.