Dr Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)

Dr Elizabeth Blackwell

< Photo: Courtesy Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman known to have received a regular medical degree in the United States. She was born in Bristol, England, but at the age of nine moved with her family to the United States, living first in New York City and then in Cincinnati.

After Blackwell graduated, she was unable to find a hospital in the United States that would admit her for further training. Returning to England, she found employment at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. From 1850 to 1868 she worked in New York but returned again to England in 1869 to campaign for the acceptance of women into the medical profession. She became the first woman ever admitted to the Medical Register of the United Kingdom and a professor at London School of Medicine for Women, which had just been founded. She remained there till an accident caused her retirement in 1907.

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Early problems and controversies. Part 5: doctors' attitudes

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