Born in Bristol, England, Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) left in 1832 with her family and emigrated to the United States when he father Samuel lost the family’s most profitable sugar refinery to a fire.
Blackwell was initially uninterested in a career in medicine, especially after her schoolteacher brought in a bull's eye to use as a teaching tool. Therefore, she became a schoolteacher in order to support her family. This occupation was seen as suitable for women during the 1800s; however, she soon found it unsuitable for her. Blackwell's interest in medicine was sparked after a friend fell ill and remarked that, had a female doctor cared for her, she might not have suffered so much. Blackwell began applying to medical schools and immediately began to endure the prejudice against her sex that would persist throughout her career. She was rejected from each medical school she applied to, except Geneva Medical College, currently known as State University of New York Upstate Medical University, in which the male students voted for Blackwell's acceptance. Thus, in 1847, Blackwell became the first woman to attend medical school in the United States.
Her application for admission to study medicine would normally be considered by the Dean and faculty, usually responsible for evaluating an applicant for matriculation. They were not able to make a decision and put the issue up to a vote by the 150 male students of the class with the stipulation that if one student objected, Blackwell would be turned away. The young men voted unanimously to accept her.
On January 23, 1849, she was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S.
Blackwell also founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children with her sister Emily Blackwell in 1857, and began giving lectures to female audiences on the importance of educating girls. She also played a significant role during the American Civil War by organizing nurses. Emily Blackwell (1826-1910) who was the second woman to earn a medical degree at what is now Case Western Reserve University.
Her life and legacy as well as her contributions are celebrated yet today with the establishment of the Elizabeth Blackwell Medal awarded annually to a female physician who has demonstrated “outstanding service to humankind.”
If you want to read a whole lot more about Elizabeth Blackwell, go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Blackwell
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- 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper