History has it that for a long time, women had been locked out of the primary professions, especially those that require technical skills and abilities. However, women equally did not stop at this type of stereotype and as such, pursued some of the traditionally male-dominated professions. One of the important women who hold accolade for having introduced women to male-dominated fields is Elizabeth Blackwell. Upon her graduation from Geneva School in the year 1849, Blackwell became undoubtedly the first ever woman doctor in the United States (Morantz-Sanchez 51). Her other accomplishment includes the enrollment into the Medical Register within the United Kingdom, and as such, she holds the accolade for having been the first ever woman to hold the title of a doctor (Henry 4). Hence, this exploration focuses on her biography and achievements or the mark that Blackwell left in history through her endeavors and accomplishments.
The biographic information of Elizabeth Blackwell highlights how and to what extent she struggled to become the influential person she is in the history of the medical profession. In 1821, February 3rd, she was born in England but pursued education through private tuition (Kline 1773). However, it was not until 1832 that she got the chance to continue her education in the United States when her father moved the family to the United States. The family background shows her struggle through school as the father had opened business but was not well off financially but still engaged in abolitionist and reform. After his death Elizabeth helped her mother in opening a private school for supporting the family and from the challenges, she initially had no intention of venturing into the medical field, but the experience she had after a female friend got sick that brought the idea of medicine and doctor into mind. In this case, the life challenges in the date influenced her career decision since there were no female doctors. Her father's engagement and involvement in radicalism, as well as social reform, also had a hand in influencing her career decision and as such, her background had an influencing in making the decision to become a medical doctor.
Despite earning a medical degree, this did not mean or imply that she earned the same respect from physicians since, at this time, the profession had been strictly dominated by men. For instance, Elizabeth struggled in her work in the United States. However, after gaining US citizenship, she left the country to pursue her career dream in Paris, thereby becoming a midwife and this would be some of the accomplishments she had through her career. In fact, a significant turn in her career is when Blackwell met Florence Nightingale, one of the reputable nurses, in fact, the founding figure behind the patient-centered care management approach (Goodrick and Trish 55). During this, era, Blackwell improved her work and professional experience by working alongside the reputable Nightingale but was still facing significant discrimination as a female doctor. Her first accomplishment was when she worked in New York by taking care of children and women, of which she achieved or began by establishing a home care management for doing the same. Her accomplishment was in writing books, of which some of the renowned books include the Laws of Life (Girls Blackwell 23).
Blackwell, Elizabeth. Address on the Medical education of women. Library of Alexandria, 2016.
Goodrick, Elizabeth, and Trish Reay. "Florence Nightingale endures: Legitimizing a new professional role identity." Journal of Management Studies 47.1 (2010): 55-84.
Henry, John L. Elizabeth Blackwell: Girl doctor. Simon and Schuster, 1996. Print.
Kline, Nancy. Elizabeth Blackwell: First woman M.D. Conari Press, 1997. Print.
Morantz-Sanchez, Regina. "Feminist theory and historical practice: Rereading Elizabeth Blackwell." History and Theory (1992): 51-69.
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