The Girl Power Roundup: Women in Medicine - November 2020

Yamlin Thapa ’24

This November we are excited to honor women who have made significant contributions and achievements in the field of medicine! Just seven decades ago, only 6% of physicians in the United States were women. Fortunately, the number of women pursuing a career in medicine is steadily growing every year. During the 19th century, women were treated as inadequate and less intelligent than men, as a result, many medical schools didn’t accept women. In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female physician in the United States. She inspired women around the nation to pursue a career in the medical field.

Audrey Evans is another influential figure in the history of medicine. She is one of the first physicians to study and find treatments for childhood cancers. Audrey Evans is most well known for creating the Evans Staging System and the original Ronald McDonald House in 1974. The Ronald McDonald House was a place for young cancer patients and their families to stay while the child received treatments. Audrey Evans’ research has greatly contributed to our understanding of pediatrics oncology.

Another influential woman, who has changed the face of medicine is Rebecca Lee Crumpler. In 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first African-American woman to obtain a medical degree. During her time, out of the 54,543 physicians in the United States, only 300 were women. Rebecca faced events of racism on a daily basis. Nevertheless, she served to save the lives of others. Today we admire Rebecca Lee Crumpler for her fortitude and pioneering accomplishments. Click on the links below to learn more about influential women in the field of medicine!

If society will not admit of women’s free development, then society must be remodeled.”

—Elizabeth Blackwell

The Girl Power Roundup