Elizabeth Blackwell Essay

1442 words - 6 pages

“If society will not admit of woman's free development, then society must be remodeled.” -Elizabeth Blackwell.
Elizabeth Blackwell is best known for being the first woman to graduate from a medical college in the United States. In doing so, she paved the road for the higher education of women in the United States, and because of her there are currently 661,400 female doctors in the United States ("Women in Medicine: How Female Doctors have Changed the Face of Medicine"). Her character and determination inspired thousands of women to become doctors. Elizabeth Blackwell was strong- willed and she never stopped aspiring to be who she wanted to be until she achieved her goals. Elizabeth Blackwell not only impacted the American medical field in the 1800’s, her impact can still be seen in America today.
When thinking of Elizabeth Blackwell, one trait comes to mind: courageous. She was born in England in 1821 and moved to the United States when she was eleven years old. (She died from a severe fall down a flight of stairs in 1910). She was raised by a father who helped abolish slavery in England and who believed in feminist ideals ("Biographies-Elizabeth Blackwell"). Her father always reminded his daughters that they were just as valuable as men were. When Elizabeth Blackwell was older, she supported women’s right to vote, their right to education, and more job opportunities for women. Contrary to the popular belief, she did not support radical women’s rights. “She saw herself as a hard-working individual, not a hard-working woman,”- Tallarie Thurgood ("History of Dr.Elizabeth Blackwell").
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to be accepted into a medical college in the United States. This was not easy. The first 29 medical schools that she applied to turned down her application. When Geneva Medical College finally accepted her application, it was accepted as a joke because a woman had never even attempted to get into a medical school. Even though she was told not to go to labs or certain classes, Elizabeth went to every class at Geneva Medical College that she could ("Biographies-Elizabeth Blackwell"). Elizabeth Blackwell wrote that at first, the other students did not talk to her, but they started to accept her after a few months. She was constantly looked down upon by professors, but she always did her best.
Although she was known to be a little hot-headed at times, Elizabeth Blackwell was very caring. She decided to study medicine after a terminally ill friend told Elizabeth that some of her pain could have been relieved if her doctor was not a cold, hard feeling man ("Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell"). Elizabeth believed that women would make favorable doctors because of their motherly instincts (Roth). While working in Paris, Dr.Blackwell contracted an eye disease from a patient, which ended her dream of becoming a surgeon, but she still wanted to help others and open an infirmary. Elizabeth believed that poor people needed to receive medical...

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