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On This Day in History

Good News in History, January 23

On this day 170 years ago, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman doctor in the United States. The local press boasted about the gender...

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On This Day in History

Good News in History, January 23

On this day 170 years ago, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman doctor in the United States. The local press boasted about the gender pioneer who graduated after becoming the first woman in the country to attend medical school. She chose the field after her friend fell ill and suggested that if a female doctor had cared for her, she might not have suffered so much. As a woman, Elizabeth Blackwell endured a lot of prejudice, as she was rejected from every medical school except one—Geneva College in New York (now, Hobart and William Smith Colleges). On graduation day, when the British-born student was receiving her diploma, the school’s dean, Dr. Charles Lee, stood up and bowed to her. (1849)