She’s a trailblazer who paved the way for women in dentistry, a largely forgotten icon who persevered against long odds. Today, we at Benco honor Lucy Hobbs, America’s first female dentist, by launching The Lucy Hobbs Project.
Born in 1833, Lucy was refused admission to medical school, and then dental school, because of her gender. But she never gave up, eventually learning dentistry as an apprentice, graduating from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, and becoming the first licensed woman to practice dentistry in the U.S. in 1865 – – – decades before women won the right to vote. Once licensed, Dr. Hobbs moved to rural Kansas to practice dentistry on what was then the American frontier.
If Dr. Hobbs were alive today, we think that she’d be amazed at how dentistry has been transformed. In the past few years, women have pulled equal to men in the number of dental graduates. And women are leaders in every facet of dentistry: every specialty, all areas of dental education, research, practice management, and the dental industry. Today, the spirit of Lucy Hobbs is alive and well in our profession.
And it’s that spirit we are looking to channel with The Lucy Hobbs Project, a multi-faceted, long-term program designed to help all women (and men, too!) in dentistry work together in three key areas:
• Innovation: develop the products, techniques and services that will address the changing needs of today’s dentists and team members.
• Network: build a sense of community and support for women in dentistry.
• Giving Back: harness the dental community to address the challenges of access to care.
At Benco, we’re passionate about dentistry, and focused on making a difference in the lives and practices of the customers we serve. With The Lucy Hobbs Project, we’re at the beginning of what we hope will be a long & exciting journey. Please join us by signing up so that we can invite you to events, both live and virtual, that will help us change dentistry.
Thank you for helping to make Lucy Hobbs, and all of the women who followed her into dentistry, proud!