Wednesday, January 25
THIS WEEK’S LESSON
Read “Elizabeth Blackwell” (2-min article) from the National Women’s History Museum, which tells of how Blackwell overcame resistance from her family, friends, and society to become the first woman in the US to earn a medical degree.
Here’s an excerpt: “Blackwell was inspired to pursue medicine by a dying friend who said her ordeal would have been better had she had a female physician. … Rejected everywhere she applied, she was ultimately admitted to Geneva College in rural New York, however, her acceptance letter was intended as a practical joke.
Blackwell faced discrimination and obstacles in college: professors forced her to sit separately at lectures and often excluded her from labs; local townspeople shunned her as a “bad” woman for defying her gender role. Blackwell eventually earned the respect of professors and classmates, graduating first in her class in 1849. …
With help from Quaker friends, Blackwell opened a small clinic to treat poor women. … She also helped found the National Health Society and published several books, including an autobiography, Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women (1895).”
- Blackwell kept going even though she was told that women could not be doctors. When did you do something you didn’t think you could?