Do you prefer to go to a male or female doctor, or are does it not matter so long as you get good treatment? It is only recently that you have had a choice. It was very difficult in the early days for a woman to gain entry into a medical school. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to succeed, but only after 17 of her applications were rejected. She eventually gained entry when male students were asked to vote on the matter. Elizabeth went on to qualify in 1849 and became an medical leader both in the USA. She found the funds to set up a hospital in an area of New York where many poor people lived. Elizabeth then returned to the UK, where she was born, and helped another hospital in a poor area of London. She did became the first female to be registered by the medical profession as a doctor in both the USA and the UK.
Elizabeth is one of the amazing women that I have been researching. As a result, I have included her in the book that I have written called Amazing Women. There are over 20 others included who have contributed in extraordinary ways to the development of professional work in computing, nursing, education, music, politics, human rights, psychology and many other areas. It will be published in March 2010. Also, included are Florence Nightingale, Irena Sendler, Mother Teresa and Elizabeth Gaskell, all of whom made major contributions to the improvement of our health.
Interestingly, in the UK medical schools, about 60% of those in training are now women. Therefore, in the future your chances of having a female doctor will be higher than they have ever been. The same will be true in the USA and other countries. It shows what a revolution Elizabeth Blackwell started in 1849.
Thanks to hphillips for the use of the photo