Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) was the first female doctor in the United States. Born in England, Blackwell moved to the United States with her family in 1832. In the 1830s and 1840s, Blackwell worked as a teacher and in 1847, after many rejections, was admitted to Geneva Medical College in upstate New York. Though she was ostracized by students and faculty alike, Blackwell completed her studies and earned her medical degree in 1849. Barred from practicing in many hospitals, Blackwell struggled for many years. By 1857, Blackwell had enough patients to open the New York Infirmary for Women and Children with her sister, Emily Blackwell. During the Civil War, the Blackwell sisters trained nurses to serve sick and wounded soldiers. In 1868, Blackwell established the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary and created a rigorous program with high standards. In 1869, Blackwell left the college to her sister’s administration and returned to England. She continued to work in medicine and reform movements for the rest of her life.

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