It's Not Easy To Be A Pioneer - But Oh, It Is Fascinating!

Elizabeth Blackwell

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"It is not easy to be a pioneer - but oh, it is fascinating!"

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) was an Anglo-American physician who is considered the first woman doctor of medicine in modern times. Blackwell played an important role in both the U.S. and the U.K. as a social awareness and moral reformer, and pioneered in promoting education for women in medicine. Her contributions remain celebrated with the Elizabeth Blackwell Medal, awarded annually to a woman who has made significant contribution to the promotion of women in medicine.

Blackwell was rejected by 12 medical colleges before being accepted to Geneva College in New York, on the grounds that she was a woman and therefore intellectually inferior, and was advised that she disguise herself as a man to study medicine. In 1857, she opened the New York Infirmary for Women with her sister Emily and Dr. Marie Zakrzewska, where women served on the board of trustees, on the executive committee and as attending physicians.

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Nikol Chen (she/her)

Digital Content Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! My name is Nikol and I look after the Laidlaw Scholars Network.

I am originally from Kazakhstan and I studied Human Sciences at UCL. My final research explored the potential effects of design on patient wellbeing in hospitals, and I also took modules such as Ethnographic Documentary Filmmaking, Anthropology of the Built Environment, Art in the Public Sphere, and other less interesting-sounding things :)

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