Elizabeth Blackwell - First Woman Doctor

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Speech on Elizabeth Blackwell

“For what is done or learned by one class of woman becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all woman.” Elizabeth Blackwell once said. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman doctor in the USA and was the first woman to get her name added to the Medical Register in the United Kingdom. Without her there wouldn’t be as many woman doctors as there are today.

Elizabeth Blackwell was born on February 3, 1821 in Counterslip Bristol in England. She was the third daughter to Samuel and Hannah Lane Blackwell. Elizabeth had seven other siblings. Her father owned a sugarcane factory, but when Elizabeth was 11 years old the factory was burnt down by a fire. After the factory was destroyed the Blackwells moved to America. About eight years after moving to America, Samuel Blackwell died. To support the family Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth’s two older sisters, and Elizabeth opened a school for black children. One day she went to visit Mary Donaldson, a family friend dying of cancer. That day Mary told Elizabeth, “You are fond of study, you have health, leisure and cultivated intelligence. Why don’t you study medicine? Had I been treated by a lady doctor, my worst sufferings would have been spared.” Elizabeth was displeased at the idea. She liked philosophy and literature, but not really science. And anyway medical school was extremely expensive and women were not allowed to study medicine. But why did she become a doctor even if she really didn’t like the idea? Well there are many reasons, but one of the major reasons was because she was inspired by the challenge and opportunities for service in a medical career. Elizabeth applied to many colleges, but many of them did not accept her because she was a woman. Finally, Elizabeth was admitted into one college, Geneva College in New York City. She was discriminated by all of her male peers, but she ignored all of the insults and jokes and graduated first in her class...
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