These top trailblazing women in medicine have a lasting impact on the healthcare industry
Women have contributed significantly to health throughout history. Many women in medicine have contributed significantly to the development of medicine despite confronting numerous challenges and discrimination. These women have paved the way for subsequent generations of female medical workers, whether it be through the development of novel treatments or cutting-edge medical procedures.
This top ten list of trailblazing women in medicine highlights their outstanding accomplishments and long-lasting effects on the industry. These female physicians, who range from the first woman to earn a medical degree to the creator of a ground-breaking vaccine, have made an enduring impact on the history of medicine and continue to encourage other women to work in the healthcare industry.
1. Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from an American medical institution with a medical degree. In 1849, she received her medical degree from New York’s Geneva Medical College. Blackwell pursued a career in hospital reform after earning her degree. She founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children in 1857, and the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary was subsequently founded by her.
2. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
The work of Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War, where she created a nursing system that significantly enhanced the care of injured soldiers, is what made her most famous. Additionally, in 1860, she established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses, which became the benchmark for nursing instruction. Nightingale’s contributions paved the way for subsequent generations of female nurses and helped make nursing a respected career.
3. Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Chemist and scientist Marie Curie made important advances in the understanding of radioactivity. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and was credited with the discovery of the elements of polonium and radium. In 1911, she was awarded a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering polonium and radium.
4. Gertrude B. Elion (1918-1999)
The first therapy for leukemia was created by biochemist Gertrude B. Elion, who also created several other life-saving medications. She also created medicines to cure a variety of illnesses, including gout, herpes, and malaria. Elion’s groundbreaking efforts in drug development earned her the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
5. Virginia Apgar (1909-1974)
The Apgar score, a method for gauging a newborn’s health, was created by physician Virginia Apgar. The newborn’s heart rate, breathing, reflexes, muscle tone, and skin tone are all evaluated by the Apgar scale right after delivery. This system, which is still in use today, has identified infants who need urgent medical care and saved countless lives.
6. Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
Rosalind Franklin was a scientist who significantly advanced the field of DNA research. Her studies contributed to the identification of the DNA double helix shape. Even though she didn’t get any credit for her work when she was alive, her contributions were subsequently recognized and honored.
7. Mary-Claire King (born 1946)
Geneticist Mary-Claire King achieved important advancements in the study of breast cancer. She helped create the first genetic screening for breast cancer and discovered the first breast cancer gene, BRCA1. Breast cancer treatment and prevention have greatly benefited from King’s efforts.
8. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)
An activist for birth control and women’s reproductive rights, Margaret Sanger was a nurse by trade. In addition to founding the organization that would become Planned Parenthood, she created the first birth control clinic in the United States in 1916. Millions of women have benefited from Sanger’s work by having access to reproductive healthcare and having knowledge about how their bodies should function.
9. Jane C.Wright (1919-2013)
African-American oncologist Jane C. Wright invented the first chemotherapy medication for cancer in the 1950s. She also worked to encourage diversity in the medical field and was the first woman to serve as president of the American Cancer Society.
10. Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831-1895)
In 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first African-American woman to receive a medical degree in the country. During and after the Civil War, she practiced medicine in Massachusetts and Virginia, giving treatment to ex-slaves and other underserved groups.