Born On This Day ~ February 3 ~ Elizabeth Blackwell ~ First Woman Graduate of a U.S. Medical School

Born: February 3, 1821 (Bristol, United Kingdom)
Died: May 31, 1910 (Hastings, United Kingdom)

Famous For/Known For:
First woman to graduate from medical school in the U.S.

A Little About Elizabeth Blackwell:
Born to Samuel Blackwell, a sugar refiner, and Hannah (Lane) Blackwell.

In 1832 Samuel decided to move the family to the United States. Six years later he died leaving the family financially broke.

When a dying friend mentioned wishing she could have had a female physician Blackwell became inspired by the idea and decided to pursue her medical degree.

Applications to medical school were rejected due to her being a female until she was accepted to Geneva Medical College in Geneva, New York. The student body thought of her admission as a practical joke.

In 1849 despite the discrimination and obstacles she faced Blackwell graduated first in her class.

While training to be a midwife at the La Maternite in Paris a serious eye infection left her blind in one eye ruining her chances of becoming the surgeon that she wanted to be.

Blackwell observed and brought attention to the fact that epidemics were often caused by male doctors not washing their hands between patients.

Over the years Blackwell brought into existence, the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, the Woman’s Central Association of Relief, Women’s Medical College, the National Health Society, and the London School of Medicine for Women.

In 1875 Blackwell became professor of gynecology at the London School of Medicine for Women.

Elizabeth Blackwell died of a stroke at the age of 89.

Books About/Written By Elizabeth Blackwell:

Elizabeth Blackwell: First Woman M.D.

Elizabeth Blackwell

Lone Writer: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell, The First Woman Doctor

*This blog post contains affiliate links.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s