Paving the way…


Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), was the first female doctor in the United States, graduating from Geneva Medical College in New York in 1849. Blackwell began her professional life as a teacher, but pursued medicine after a dying friend told her that she would have suffered less, had she been under the care of a female physician. During the American Civil War (1861–65) she trained women doctors and nurses for the front. She later returned to England and co-founded the London School of Medicine for Women.

The road to medical school for Blackwell was not easy. She was rejected from each medical school she applied to and endured the prejudice against her sex that would persist throughout her career. She was finally accepted into the Geneva Medical College in New York, where some say she was voted in as a joke.

Blackwell’s inaugural thesis on typhoid fever, published in 1849 shortly after she graduated, was the first medical article published by a female student from the United States. It portrayed a strong sense of empathy and sensitivity to human suffering, as well as strong advocacy for economic and social justice. Go girl!

2 Responses to “Paving the way…”

  1. viviana aspuru Says:

    Very cool.  Thanks for sharing these!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


  2. Christy Espinel Says:

    Wow!!! I’m loving these!!


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