Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell

Who Says Women Can't be Doctors?  The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell
by Tanya Lee Stone, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Henry Holt and Company, 2013.  Unpaged.  Biography

     Children now may be surprised that there was a time when women in the United States not only didn't usually become doctors--they were not allowed to become doctors!  Women in those days were wives, mothers, homemakers, and if they did take up a profession it was as a teacher or seamstress, usually.  Elizabeth Blackwell changed all that.  Not originally interested in a medical career at all--the sight of blood made her throw up--she changed her mind when she visited a very sick friend named Mary Donaldson who said she "would have much preferred being examined by a woman.  She urged Elizabeth to consider becoming a doctor."  Elizabeth tried.  She applied to many medical schools.  The answer was always the same.  NO.  Finally she was admitted to Geneva Medical School in New York, as a kind of a joke by the other medical students who laughed at her and mocked her. She got the last laugh, though, when she whipped up on them gradewise and was the best student in her class.  When she became a doctor no one would come to her until she went to them--poor people, women and children. She established her own hospital for women and her own medical college for women.  What an incredible character.  You should read about here in this interesting book.

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