- Helen McAndrew and her husband arrived in Rawsonville from Scotland in 1849 and then moved to Ypsilanti in 1850.
The closest medical school that would accept a female student was in New York, so in 1853 McAndrew hired a maid to care for her infant son and moved to New York to attend medical school. She graduated in 1855 and returned to Ypsilanti to set up practice as the first female doctor in Washtenaw County.
As a female doctor, she was not considered to be “respectable” and could only treat those who could not afford the fees charged by Ypsilanti’s male doctors. Her reputation was firmly established after treating the wife of a prominent citizen, who had not responded to the best known physicians in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.