The National Women Physicians Day is celebrated on February 3.The event celebrates Elizabeth Blackwell’s birthday; she was the first female medical doctor in the U.S.
Today marks the 200th anniversary of this remarkable woman who was born in Bristol, Britain, into a wealthy family.Her father Samuel Blackwell was the owner of a sugar refinery in the city.
Samuel Blackwell believed that each of his nine children should be given the opportunity for unlimited development of his or her talents and abilities.Elizabeth and her brothers and sisters had private tutors to supplement their intellectual development.
Her family decided to move to the United States. Elizabeth was eleven years old. The head of the family became interested in making sugar from sugar beets instead of sugar cane, which required massive amounts of slave labor.
At the age of seventeen, Blackwell almost at the same period lost her father and best friend. They both were suffering from bilious fever. The dying said that she would have been much more comfortable being treated by a female doctor. This meeting probably gave Blackwell the idea of pursuing a career in medicine.
Until 1847, medicine was considered as male-dominated occupation across the world.The girl who cared about healing was told she must go to medical college in Philadelphia and pretend to be a man if she wanted to become a doctor.
Having blessed by a priest and having made around three thousand dollars by teaching music to support her cherished dream, Elizabeth, at the age of twenty-six, became the first ever female student at Geneva Medical College.
But her acceptance was a joke.The teachers at the college let the medical students decide to accept or reject Blackwell’s application.The students thought it was a practical joke and voted to admit her.
They regretted their decision by the time Elizabeth arrived, but there was nothing they could do.She was there.
After she gained her degree, she studied ophthalmology while awaiting a position as a surgeon at La Maternité Hospital. But tragedy struck, and while treating a young child with an eye infection some pus accidentally splashed into her own eyes.She later lost the sight in left eye, putting paid to the surgical career she had hoped to follow.
As it was impossible to practice medicine in Europe, Blackwell returned to the United States.In 1857, she opened a clinic for poor women along with her sister Emily, who had studied in Europe and also become a doctor, and with her friend Maria.
This clinic became the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children.The clinic established the first nursing training center in the United States.
In January 1859, Elizabeth became the first woman to have her name on the British Medical Register.
When the Civil War began in the U.S., the Blackwell sisters organized the Women’s Central Association of Relief, and worked to train nurses for service in the war.
However, Blackwell did meet with some resistance on the part of the male-dominated United States Sanitary Commission.The male physicians refused to help with the nurse education plan if it involved the Blackwells.
However, in the end, the Elizabeth’s Association was involved in nurse training as it had a good truck of experience.
At the Women’s Medical College opened in 1868, Elizabeth realized another of her dream: the idea of a four-year study, with much more extensive clinical training.
Dr. Blackwell resigned this position in 1877, and officially retired from medicine. In her later years, she was still relatively active sharing her knowledge with organizations involved in practical sanitation. Elizabeth Blackwell died in 1910 at the grand age of 90.
In Turkmenistan, where women made up more than fifty percent of all doctors, reform of the health care system has started after gaining independence. As a result of its implementation, a number of multidisciplinary and specialized hospitals were opened. All information about hospitals is available on the website of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan.
In addition, the first Minister of Health in the history of the country was a woman, Candidate of Medical Sciences Aksoltan Toreyevna Atayeva, who in September 2019 was awarded the title of Hero of Turkmenistan for her outstanding contribution and many years of selfless work.