Who was Elizabeth Blackwell?

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first American woman (originally from England) to go to medical school and she was admitted as a joke. Yes, you read that right.

This brave woman who believed she could achieve anything applied to Geneva Medical School in 1847, but male students though it was a prank so they all voted her in as a joke. Thanks to this, she graduated in 2 years from medical school.

What was Elizabeth Blackwell’s other accomplishments?

Blackwell then went on to co-established and taught at a London women’s school to help more women become doctors. She was therefore a pioneer in promoting the education of women in medicine. She also opened an infirmary for the poor, and started her own practice.

Why did Elizabeth Blackwell apply to medical school in the first place?

Blackwell’s motivation to go into medicine came after her friend fell ill. This friend suggested that if a female doctor had cared for her, she might not have suffered so much.

She had a strong sense of empathy and sensitivity to human suffering as well as a strong desire for social and economic justice.


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