The letter began on a positive note, stating how pleased the director was that she, Elizabeth, had applied to attend the medical institution. Some flattery followed the introduction, explaining what a promising and qualified student she would be. The letter continued…
“However, we regret to inform you that…”
She slumped against the wall in defeat, like a puppet who’s master had let go of its strings. She stared at her third official letter of rejection one more time before crumpling it up and throwing it across the room.
No man will ever allow a woman to become a doctor, her twisted mind repeated. People are not ready to change their ways.
She admitted that perhaps what her mind was saying was right. Perhaps there was no hope left for a woman whose dream was to attend a university and become a respected physician.
“Or perhaps not,” she said out loud, as if she were speaking to her own thoughts. “It may be that I will become the first.”
That week, Elizabeth spent the bulk of her days researching medical schools. until she finally discovered Geneva Medical College in New York, and applied with the greatest of haste. As usual, it was not until weeks later that she received a response; however, this response differed from all of the rest.
“After taking a vote from the current students, I am pleased to announce that the vote was unanimous, in your favor.”
Elizabeth rushed to the nearest chair and fell upon it, covering her mouth in utter shock. Her disbelief lessened as she continued to read the letter, which informed her on what she was to expect upon arriving to the university in the fall.
After reading the complete letter, she folded it delicately, placed it on her desk, and told her family the joyous news.
Elizabeth Blackwell went onto become America’s first doctor, and graduated with her medical degree in 1849. She paved the way for thousands more women to enter the medical field, and is an inspiring example of perseverance, determination, and resilience.

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