Maria Kalapothaki (1859-1941) was the first Greek woman to become a doctor. She was educated in The United States and France, where women were not excluded from classes, labs, anatomy labs, hospital wards, and operation rooms. Upon her return, Kalapothaki focuses her research on chronic gastrointestinal problems of babies, a significant problem of the Greek society of the time.
However, with the eruption of the Greek-Turkish war of 1897, Queen Olga entrusts her with the training of volunteer nurses. For her contribution, she was decorated by the Queen. In 1899 she was awarded the cross and red ribbon silver medal at a special ceremony held at the palace.