Elizabeth Blackwell

the 1st female doctor

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Being a doctor?

Elizabeth Blackwell didn't want to become a doctor her whole life. She "hated everything connected with the body, and could not bear the sight of a medical book". ("Changing the Face of Medicine | Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell." ). She struggled a lot with the idea of medicine "the very thought of dwelling on the physical structure of the body and its various ailments filled me with disgust." ("Changing the Face of Medicine | Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell." "), but after one of her friends died she changed her point of view. Blackwells friend suffered from a terminal disease. She felt embarrassed to go to a male doctor, she would have been spared her worst suffering if her physician had been a woman. ("Elizabeth Blackwell Biography.","Changing the Face of Medicine | Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell." ). Blackwell was really touched by the last words of her friend with is why she turned her face toward medicine.
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"Aller Anfang ist schwer" ~ German Quote ("Every beginning is hard")

"Blackwell had no idea how to become a physician"("Changing the Face of Medicine | Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell." ). She had to face a lot of problems, because a woman has never been a doctor before. So she talked to several Physicans. All of them told her it was a good idea but it was expensive "and such education was not available to women."("N.p., n.d. Web."). Even though they told her it was impossible Blackwell applied to more than 12 medical schools.( "Changing the Face of Medicine | Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell." ). Only the Genva Medical College in New York accepted her. The college assumed that the male students would never agree to a woman in the medical field - they voted on her admission. ("Changing the Face of Medicine | Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell." ). "As a joke, they voted "yes," and she gained admittance"("Changing the Face of Medicine | Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell." ). The student body didn´t take her serious. But 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell graduated from the Medical School as the first woman in history. ("Changing the Face of Medicine | Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell." , "Elizabeth Blackwell Biography.")
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Achievements

After her graduation Blackwell went to London and Paris. "She focused on midwifery at La Maternité, where she contracted a disease during a procedure on an infant that left her blind in one eye"("Elizabeth Blackwell Biography.") Unfortunately Blackwell couldn´t practice surgery anymore. She returned to New York and established her own private practice. Later she opened a clinic for poor women and children together with her sister, Emily Blackwell and Marie Zakrzewska. Blackwell also built the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children. In England Blackwell was lecturing medicine to woman.

Sanitary condition were really important to her so she helped to establish the "U.S. Sanitary Commission". ("Elizabeth Blackwell Biography.")

In the late 1860s the opened her first medical school in New York.

"Soon after establishing the college, Elizabeth Blackwell returned to England." ("Elizabeth Blackwell Biography.") Her last achievement before she died, was a private practice in London. And she still lectured medicine.

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Women's History Month - Elizabeth Blackwell