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Sindecuse Museum

Sara Gdulin Krout

Sara Gdulin Krout, far left, with Navy Dental Office staff.

Sara Gdulin Krout, far left, with Navy Dental Office staff. Photo courtesy of Cliff Tabin.

Sara Gdulin Krout (1898-1989)
DDS 1920 University of Riga, Latvia
DDS 1924 University of Illinois College of Dentistry

First Navy Woman Dentist from Latvia

Amazingly, the first woman dentist in the Navy was not from America. Sara G. Krout survived World War I and the Russian Revolution and studied dentistry in the Ukraine and Latvia before moving to Chicago.

After attending the University of Illinois College of Dentistry, she obtained a dental license in 1924 and opened a private practice in Chicago. Krout married, had a daughter, and juggled work and parenting with her husband, a psychologist. 

Where There’s a Will

Krout (far left) circumvented the military’s restriction on women dentists by joining the U.S. Navy Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) as a lieutenant. WAVES received identical rank and pay as male personnel.

She was on active duty as a dentist at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station from 1944 to 1946. Krout continued in the Naval Reserve until retiring as a commander in 1961.

After the war, Krout started a practice in Evanston, Illinois. She served on the staff of the Women and Children’s Hospital of Chicago and was a member of the Association of Military Surgeons.

Sara Gdulin Krout in uniform

Sara Krout in uniform. Photo courtesy of Cliff Tabin.