The obituary of Elizabeth Blackwell read, "She was in the fullest sense of the word a pioneer who, like all pioneers (when discouraged) heard but did not listen" (Kline 179). Born on February 3, 1821 near Bristol, England, this one particular woman ignored all discouragements and criticism to reach her one goal that would benefit many women today. Just about one hundred fifty years ago, to see a woman physician was a new and absurd sight to society. This brave woman developed a role for women to play in the world of medicine in America. Motivated by her personal and religious beliefs and the constant rejection from prestigious schools, Elizabeth Blackwell reached her goals of giving women roles in medicine and establishing medical facilities and organizations to help others. As a result, other women have been inspired by Blackwell's example, and the place of women in medicine has been greatly popularized, but oftentimes unappreciated by the increasing numbers of female medical students in the United States. .
Blackwell's inspiration began when she searched for and found historical women who participated in the practiced medicine (Kent 8). She researched the ancient women of Egypt and other places who were involved in medicine, as well as the more modern midwives and doctresses (Kent 9). She found that there were several American women who had accomplished many great things before her. As a result of her extensive research, she wanted to bring back the original concept of women working in medicine. This was the norm before medical occupations were taken over by men (Kent 10). Her belief of women having the same occupational opportunities was the result in finding that men had invaded most of the medical jobs. .
Moreover, Blackwell was exposed early to the social reform movement and the practice of evangelical Christianity, which gave her strong morals and values that motivated her to fight for what she believed in (Kline 9).