Women at the Medical University of South Carolina

Emilie Melanie Viett Rundlett, M.D.

Emilie Melanie Viett Rundlett, M.D.
Emilie Melanie Viett Rundlett, M.D.
 
Waring Historical Library, MUSC, Charleston

First female graduates, College of Medicine 1901

Dr. Emilie Melanie Viett Rundlett was born in Charleston, SC, in 1876. In the fall of 1898, Viett became the first woman to enter the Medical College of the State of South Carolina. She became the second woman to graduate, after Dr. Love Rose Hirschmann Gantt, due to her order in the graduation roster. Following graduation, Viett went to New York for postgraduate training where she met and married Dr. Henry Albert Rundlett, a dermatologist. Their only child died in infancy.

After her husband’s death in 1904, Rundlett remained in the vicinity of New York and began a practice in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1906. She focused her practice on the diseases of women and children. Two of her most significant contributions to medicine were pioneering reports on the diagnostic significance of cerebrospinal fluid glucose levels and the efficacy of sulfadiazine in the treatment of meningococcal meningitis.

In 1939, Rundlett was elected President of the Medical Staff of the New Jersey Medical Center, the first woman to hold such a position within the state. In 1940, she was elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. When Seton Hall Medical School was organized in 1956, she was a founding Clinical Professor of Medicine.