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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Laura Morrow, M.D.

Picture of Laura Morrow
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Laura Morrow, M.D.

“Life has a way of working things out.”

NOMINATING CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Bill Pascrell Jr.

“CHARITABLE AND PASSIONATE PIONEER FOR WOMEN IN MEDICINE”

BIOGRAPHY

A noted pioneering female physician who was elected president of the American Medical Women's Association in 1969, throughout her long life of service Laura Morrow remained true to her philosophy that "Life has a way of working things out."

For her many accomplishments in advancing the cause of women in medicine, she won numerous accolades. For example, in eulogizing Morrow, the AMWA foundation noted that, as AMWA president, she had an "instinctive feel for what people needed to do in order to accomplish the task at hand."

Above all the high honors and deserved recognition, what really mattered to Dr. Morrow was to serve others through medicine.

A 1937 honors graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, during World War II she stayed at home, in Lyndhurst, raising her children and serving as the town's only general practitioner, while all the male doctors (including her husband, Lloyd Morrow, MD) went off to make the world safe for democracy.

During an era when there was no health insurance, it was said that she was able to help a large number of people "find satisfaction in their lives and overcome their difficulties." Aside from her devotion to helping people with their problems, Dr. Morrow advanced scientific discoveries within her field.

She and her physician-husband were forerunners in the use of psychotropic medications and among the first researchers in trial studies of vitamin B3, in the treatment of schizophrenia, and the antipsychotic drug Fluphenazine.

As well as being a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Morrow served as the director of Psychiatry and senior attending physician at Passaic General Hospital, and was an active member of the Passaic and Bergen County Medical Societies and their women's auxiliary groups. She also made time to serve as President of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association. Recognized for her hard work and dedication, she was featured in an exhibit at UMDNJ "Pioneer Women Physicians of New Jersey."

In 1974, Dr. Morrow was awarded AMWA's prestigious Elizabeth Blackwell medal for her untiring leadership, innovative ideas and unstinting efforts on behalf of the Association. In this regard, she was instrumental with AMWA in the creation of the Elizabeth Blackwell commemorative U.S. postal stamp honoring women in medicine. She also led development of "Resolved: Medicine Needs More Women," a film which remains influential to this day in women's studies classrooms as well as in the study of medicine.

When not devoting her considerable energies to medicine, Dr. Morrow managed to express herself artistically through her painting, a lifelong passion which helped to alleviate the stress of her professional life. Her work was exhibited in the annual UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical Society Spring Arts Festival entitled "A Celebration of Art, Medicine and Life - Overcoming Adversity through the Arts," at which she won first place for painting and the grand prize for crafts.

Dr. Morrow is survived by four children and nine grandchildren.

MILESTONES

1968

Honored as Woman of the Year by the New Jersey Medical Women's Association

1969

Elected President, American Medical Women's Association

1974

Receives the American Medical Women's Association Elizabeth Blackwell Award

BORN

1913 (died 2004)

MEDICAL SCHOOL

University of Pennsylvania Medical School

SPECIALTY

Psychiatric Medicine

LOCATION

New Jersey