I find these women Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell worthy role models for two reasons: 1) obviously for overcoming stereotypes. but more importantly, 2) for their entrepreneurial nature in starting their own practice and medical school for women, making sure the hard work and suffering they had to endure would be significantly diminished for future generations of aspiring women medical doctors. I have the greatest admiration for such people who use their knowledge, skills and professional experiences to help others strategically.
They are worthy role models just for being doctors in that time (the mid to late 1800s), but to take it several steps ahead by imparting education and training for other women is truly genius!
At a time when women were seen as no more than house workers and child bearers (well, many still think that way!), Dr. Blackwell not only shunned stereotypes but forged entirely new paths....
Her sister Dr. Emily Blackwell followed suit and although her path was harder and took longer, having had to change med schools a few times, she did not give up. Together with another Marie Zakrzewska (unsure if she was a doctor or not), the trio opened a clinic in NY for women and children. Emily Blackwell took upon the running and operations of the clinic, ensuring that the clinic was well operated. She started a medical social work program which turned into a nurses training program and then a full scale medical college for women by 1868!!
Her bio can be read here.
(Image above: Elizabeth Blackwell; Wikipedia
Image on right- Emily Blackwell; Britannica Encyclopedia)