Dr. Kazue Togasaki was one of the first Japanese American women to become a doctor in the United States and was known for her bravery as she took care of hundreds in Japanese internment camps during World War II. Dr. Togasaki was born in San Francisco and became inspired about medicine when she and her family created a make-shift hospital to take care of injured people during a catastrophic earthquake. She graduated from Stanford with a zoology degree, but found that it was difficult to find work. She decided to enroll in a nursing program at a children’s hospital where she finished top of her class and went on to earn a medical degree at the Woman’s College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Togasaki returned to San Francisco to open her own practice. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she and many innocent Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps where conditions were dire. Dr. Togasaki gathered what she could to treat those who were ill and safely delivered 50 babies at the Stockton Assembly Center. After being released, she rebuilt her practice and continued to serve her local community for 40 years. She was named one of the “The Most Distinguished Woman of 1970” by the San Fransico Examiner.
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