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What were the major successes and failings of Elizabeth Blackwell?

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What were the major successes and failings of Elizabeth Blackwell? Elizabeth Blackwell was an extraordinary woman. Not content with becoming America's 1st female doctor, she also inspired the likes of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Florence Nightingale to follow in her footsteps and fight the chauvinistic medical authorities that blocked women from succeeding in medicine. Elizabeth Blackwell was always determined to succeed in the world of medicine and this is where many of her successes came from. She applied to many medical schools and only got accepted into Geneva College as part of a joke by the students already attending. The current students thought that the idea of a woman applying to medical school was completely ridiculous. In actual fact, they were so convinced that no woman would ever do such an outrageous thing, that they believed Blackwell's application to be a joke or a hoax. Just for a laugh the college council went along with the joke by voting "Yes" unanimously when her application was presented for vote. Consequently Elizabeth Blackwell's application, neither a joke nor a hoax, was accepted admittance into Geneva College, as the first woman in America ever to attend medical school. ...read more.


Elizabeth Blackwell also opened a medical centre in the slums of New York. Soon afterwards her younger sister, Emily Blackwell, who had also graduated with a medical degree joined the medical centre. Elizabeth Blackwell along with her sister then founded the, "New York Infirmary for Women and Children". Blackwell gave public lectures on sanitation, created a health centre and campaigned for better preventive medicine. Elizabeth Blackwell also opened her medical college for women. She taught the women students about disease prevention. The group saved the lives of many people and went down as one of the most successful things undertaken by Elizabeth Blackwell. Another one of Elizabeth Blackwell's feminist ventures took place during the American Civil War. Blackwell set up the Women's Central Association of Relief. They were a group of women led by Blackwell that helped as nurses during the war. This proved that women could play a crucial part in medicine and again inspired many women to take up medicine as a profession. Despite has many achievements; Elizabeth Blackwell failed to unite men and women in the world of medicine. ...read more.


This is evident when Blackwell went to college and endured discrimination from men. Even though Blackwell successful got a diploma, she failed to break the monopoly of men in medicine. Lastly, Elizabeth Blackwell still faced a struggle with women other than herself getting admittance into medical colleges. This is shown in the case of her sister Emily, who was rejected from many colleges including Geneva. Elizabeth Blackwell should have been proof enough that women can in fact be brilliant at medicine and surpass the male students. Eventually Elizabeth Blackwell set up her own medical school for women and at least they'd get some kind of medical knowledge. Unfortunately though it wouldn't match up to the standard of education given at a medical college. In conclusion, Elizabeth Blackwell was a largely successful feminist who paved the way for generations of future female doctors. Although Elizabeth Blackwell didn't make as much headway as she would've wanted, she did however chisel away at the chauvinistic males blocking women from becoming doctors. Elizabeth Blackwell inspired future doctors and without her we may live in a world where women remain only as nurses. Her impact on history will not be forgotten; therefore I conclude that she was a major success. ...read more.

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