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					Name: Ms. Hummel
Information Literacy Biography Project

Subject: Elizabeth Blackwell


Years Lived: (1821-1910)

Questions: What do you think you have learned about how you want to live your
life based on what you have learned about the person you are researching?


       Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the

United States. I greatly admire two qualities possessed by Blackwell, her conviction

and her persistence. Before applying to medical schools Blackwell had to work as a

teacher. Elizabeth was an abolitionist, a person in favor of ending slavery in the

United States. When she worked as an instructor at a school in Kentucky and

encountered many people who were in favor of maintaining the institution of

slavery she left the school at the end of the year. While working at a series of other

schools Blackwell began studying for admission to a medical college.

       Blackwell was denied admission to 29 other medical schools before she was

admitted to the Geneva Medical College in Geneva, N.Y. When she arrived at Geneva
Medical College her classmates, and the media, which was documenting her

progress, expected her to fail. But she proved to be a successful, accomplished

student. After receiving her degree in 1849 Blackwell traveled to Europe for

practical medical experience. When she returned to the U.S. in 1851 no hospital

would give her a job because she was a woman, and it was considered immoral or

strange for a woman to work as a medical doctor. Instead of giving up her career

because her colleagues and the medical establishment were shutting her out, she

opened a private practice in a rented room. Her younger sister Emily, who became a

surgeon, joined Elizabeth at the private practice, which eventually turned into the

New York Infirmary and College for Women. Throughout the rest of her life

Blackwell lectured and promoted women’s inclusion in the medical profession.

       I’ve learned many things from Blackwell’s example. I’ve learned we can

refuse to accept other peoples’ limitations for ourselves. I’ve learned that even

though something we want may seem impossible, if we want it enough and are

willing to make sacrifices, work hard, and be considered different we can very likely

achieve it. And I’ve learned that even if we don’t have a lot of money we don’t have

to give up our convictions for the sake of keeping a job.
                                    Works Cited

Schneir, Miriam. "Blackwell, Elizabeth." World Book Student. World Book, 2011.
        Web. 16 Jan. 2011.

"Elizabeth Blackwell." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale,

    2004. 311-312. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 16 Jan. 2011.

"Blackwell, Elizabeth." U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E.

    Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Ed. Lawrence W. Baker and Sarah

    Hermsen. Vol. 1. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 176-178. Gale Virtual Reference Library.

    Web. 16 Jan. 2011.


    Web. 16 Jan. 2011.

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