Linda Farley, MD, recognized as a “local legend” in a National Library of Medicine exhibition, died on June 9 at the age of 80. Inspired as a teenager by novels about doctors who cared for the rural poor in Appalachia, Farley decided to become a physician. She put herself through college and medical school working as a nurse’s aide. She and her husband Gene, also a medical doctor, then spent a lifetime caring for the needy and underserved and crusading for healthcare reform.
She worked on a Navajo reservation, trained nurses in Jamaica, practiced in rural upstate New York, then in Denver before arriving in Madison, Wisconsin, to teach and practice Family Medicine. When honored as a local legend, Farley said, “I’d like to be remembered as a good family doctor who really cared for people.”
Local Legends highlights the contributions of women physicians in rural and urban towns and cities throughout America. Local Legends is a companion to the Library’s exhibition Changing the Face of Medicine.