The first woman in America to receive her medical degree was Elizabeth Blackwell, in 1849.
At the time most people opposed women studying medicine, so they had a difficult time getting into medical school and were often ridiculed by the male students.
In 1850, for example, when Harriot Hunt was accepted by Harvard Medical School, the male students protested so much that she withdrew and the Harvard trustees later voted to refuse all women applicants (a policy that continued for almost 100 years).
Hunt, a self-taught medical practitioner who had been offering Boston women medical advice since the mid-1830s, later received an honorary degree from a woman’s medical college.
Rebecca Lee (later Crum pier) became the first African American woman doctor after receiving her medical degree from the New England Female Medical College in 1864.