Justina Ford, MD

Inductee Name

Justina Ford, MD

Place of Birth


Date of Birth

1871 – 1952

Year Inducted



Medicine / Healthcare


Ann Flanigan



  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Justina L. Ford, MD was Denver’s first licensed black woman physician. After graduating from the Hering Medical College in Chicago in  1899, she worked briefly at an Alabama hospital where she was a director for 2 years, but the community still wouldn’t recognize her as a physician. On her arrival in Denver she learned that Denver General Hospital accepted neither black patients nor black physicians. So Dr. Ford took her practice on the road where she served Spanish, American Indian, Chinese, Greek, Japanese, “plain whites” and “plain colored” patients.

For 50 years, Ford practiced medicine and treated needy patients from her Five Points home. She specialized in gynecology, obstetrics and pediatrics. Ford treated patients from all ethnic backgrounds. She believed strongly in natural childbirth.

Ford’s mother was a nurse, and as a child, Ford loved to play hospital, and made up names for illnesses.  She said in an interview that she would “dress up the chickens for dinner just to take a look at the insides and see what they were like.”

Dr. Ford’s fees were more than reasonable: $15 – $20 for prenatal care and delivery. Some patients couldn’t afford that and ended up paying her in produce, chickens or household items.

After she had been in practice 33 years, she was finally able to become a member of the faculty at Denver General but not practice there. She was never granted membership in the American Medical Association. She was finally admitted to the Denver and Colorado Medical Societies in 1950, two years before she died.

In her 50 year career in Denver, she delivered over 7000 babies. 

Colorado Women's Hall of Fame

Donate to Help Us Write Women Into History!

Help the Hall preserve and amplify the legacy of Colorado's most extraordinary women and inspire future generations of women and girls to greater achievement. Your generous donation helps fund our ability to continue this legacy.

Donate Today

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This