Making History: Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell

Posted on November 1, 2011 by


By: Dase

We have all heard and, in certain cases seen, woman being treated unequally in the work place due to their gender. All this discrimination has a root. The hardest part of eradicating discrimination is becoming the stepping stone towards change. Elizabeth Blackwell was the stepping stone for women in the medical field.

In Elizabeth Blackwell’s time period  (Feb 3, 1821- May 31, 1910), women were restricted from many school curricula. Luckily, Elizabeth Blackwell was given the opportunity to hire private tutors, who taught her a variety of subjects. Once she got older, she became a teacher. She believed this was the right path for her, considering teaching was primarily a woman’s job. But she later decided to get a M.D degree instead. Elizabeth Blackwell decided to get her Medical Degree because of a friend whose dying last words were how this process would have been easier if she had a female doctor by her side.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman who pursued a M.D degree. She applied to many medical schools but she only got an acceptance letter from one: Geneva Medical College. She was accepted to this college because of a prank.

Once Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell got her degree, she became the first female medical doctor in the United States of America. Even through her triumphs, it was very hard for her to practice medicine because of the unequal opportunities for women. She was denied many physician positions because she was a woman. She knew she had to do something to change the circumstances for future female doctors.

To become the needed change in the medical field for women, Dr Elizabeth Blackwell established a school for women who were pursuing this career. This school was designed to empower women and support their careers in the medical field.

Throughout this time period, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was a proactive advocate for the enrollment of women in the medical field. She was very involved with the National Health Society and many other institutes that supported medicine careers for women.

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell is a perfect example of the stepping stone to change. Most people believe that it takes many to create change, but only one person is needed to cause the ripple effect that betters the future for everyone.