Sunday, February 10, 2008

Elizabeth Blackwell

(1821 - 1910)

Elizabeth was the first woman to obtain a medical degree in the USA.

Elizabeth was a naturalised American (1849) - having been born in the UK, and settling in America aged 11 years old with her family.

In American at this time, women were not allowed to study medicine in the medical colleges nor did many other colleges allow them to do so. Elizabeth was finally accepted by Geneva Medical College, New York (1847) and graduated two years later (1849). from there she continued her medical education in Europe - she spent time in Paris where she was only accepted as a student midwife. However, most of Elizabeth's time was spent at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London.

On her return to New York, Elizabeth faced seven years of loneliness and difficulties; she was ignored by her medical colleagues and barred from the city's hospitals and dispensaries; she received abusive anonymous letters and found it impossible to persuade anyone to rent her suitable consulting rooms.

Despite these initial difficulties, Elizabeth was responsible for the establishment of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children (1857) and for the Women's Medical College of the New York Infirmary (1868).

Elizabeth returned to England (1869) for good. She encouraged Elizabeth Garret and Sophia Jex-Blake in the desire to become doctors, and Florence Nightingale in her life's work.

Elizabeth left behind her in American, another women she had encouraged to become a doctor, Marie Zakrzewska (d.1902) - the Resident Physician of GM of the Infirmary for Women and Children.

Biography of Elizabeth Blackwell

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Just wanted to tell you again how much I appreciate your blog. I'm trying to incorporate you regularly on my blog. Mine is political, but broad enough that I think your posts are a nice diversion. Best of luck!