February 3rd marks the 199th birthday of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States in 1849. Elizabeth Blackwell championed the participation of women in the medical profession and ultimately opened her own medical college for women. Join us in celebrating her achievements and the strides that have been made by generations of women physicians.
We invite you to discover the many ways that women have influenced and enhanced the practice of medicine by exploring an exhibition from the National Library of Medicine:
Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians
From the exhibition: “Women have always been healers. As mothers and grandmothers, women nursed the sick in their homes. As midwives, wise women, and curanderas, women cared for people in their communities. Yet, when medicine became established as a formal profession in Europe and America, women were shut out.
Nevertheless, they waged a long battle to gain access to medical education and hospital training and, since then, women have overcome prejudices and discrimination to create and broaden opportunities within the profession.
Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians introduces and acknowledges some of the many extraordinary women who have studied and practiced medicine in America.”
To learn more about Elizabeth Blackwell and her extraordinary family, we also encourage you to visit the Blackwell Family Papers Digital Collection, part of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. This exhibition focuses on seven women of the Blackwell family from 1830 to 1950 and includes almost 130,000 pages of material.