Civil War Nurse and Female Physician

Mary Jane Safford is best known for nursing wounded Union soldiers on battlefields and hospital ships on the Mississippi River during the Civil War, an experience that influenced her to pursue a career in medicine. After the war, she earned her medical degree, established a practice, and taught at the Boston University Medical School.

Early Years
Mary Jane Safford was born December 31, 1834 in Hyde Park, Vermont, but her family moved to …Read More...

First Woman Surgeon in the Union Army

After the Battle of Fredricksburg in December 1862, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker worked as a Civil War field surgeon near the Union front lines, treating soldiers in a tent hospital. She tried to increase the survival rate by advising stretcher bearers not to carry wounded soldiers downhill with the head below the feet. Although she probably did not perform any amputations, she thought that many of them were unnecessary and encouraged some soldiers …Read More...

First Woman Doctor in the United States

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, and a social reformer in both the US and in England. By the time of Blackwell's death in 1910, the number of female doctors in the United States had risen to over 7,000.

Childhood and Early Years
Elizabeth Blackwell was born near Bristol, England February 3, 1821, the third daughter among nine children of sugar refiner …Read More...