Elizabeth Blackwell: Trials and Tribulations

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Elizabeth Blackwell was born February 3, 1821 in Bristol, England to her parents, Samuel and Hannah Blackwell. She grew up in Bristol until she was eleven years old, when her father moved them to America. Throughout her early life, Blackwell never had any desire to become a doctor her favorite subjects were metaphysics and history. Blackwell took many years to become what history books know as the first female physician. Why did she decide to become the first female doctor and what were some of the obstacles she had to overcome and how did she overcome them?

Elizabeth Blackwell never wanted to become a physician and was actually disgusted by it, so what made this twenty-four year old women change her mind to change the face of history? When Blackwell moved to Walnut Hills, she became friends with a lady by the name of Lucy Stone. Lucy presented this idea to Elizabeth when she was dying with what was believed to be uterine cancer. She remarked that “You are fond of study, have health and leisure, why not study medicine? If I had been treated by a lady doctor, my worst sufferings would have been spared me.” But, she quickly disregarded it because she “hated everything to do with the body, and could not bear the sight of a medical book”. But, she wanted a “absorbing” career and wanted to stray as far as she could from a traditional marriage. But one of the main reasons she wanted this career was because in her days an abortionist was called a female physician, and she was revolted that such a prestigious career would be tarnished by such a disgusting career. She actually once said that, “The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism.” So with those three very persuasive reasons she decided to begin her very difficult journey ahead.

One thing many people never think much of is the many tribulations Elizabeth Blackwell was faced with. Of course many would think it would mostly be...
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