In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re honoring 10 women who paved the way for the modern healthcare system.
1. Elizabeth Blackwell, MD
The first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell paved the path for innumerable women to follow. Dr. Blackwell faced years of discrimination before graduating first in her class from Geneva Medical College in New York in 1849.
2. Florence Nightingale
A pioneer of modern nursing practice, Florence Nightingale’s work as a nurse transformed the standard for hospitals and care facilities forever. Nightingale sparked new standards and safe nursing practices that would carry on forever.
3. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, MD
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first Black woman in the United States to earn a medical degree. Challenging the prejudice that stopped so many Black Americans from pursuing careers in medicine, Dr. Crumpler brought about a turning point in the history of women in healthcare.=
4. Mary Edwards Walker, MD
In all of American History, only one woman has received the Presidential Medal of Honor—and that woman was Dr. Mary Edwards Walker. Not only that, but Dr. Walker was also the first female U.S. Army surgeon.
5. Jane Cooke Wright, MD
The first woman and African American to be elected president of the New York Cancer Society, Dr. Jane Wright dedicated her career to researching cancer treatments. Her research pioneered new cancer treatment techniques that have impacted treatments available today.
6. Clara Barton
Known for her humanitarian work and for founding the American Red Cross, Clara Barton established the National First Aid Association of America, an organization that brought awareness to the importance of emergency preparedness and developed first aid kits.
7. Susan La Flesche Picotte, MD
Show your support for women in medicine this month by sharing these incredible ladies’ stories and your own stories alike!