Zakrzewska, Marie Elizabeth

Zakrzewska, Marie Elizabeth

(1829–1902) physician; born in Berlin, Germany. A midwife and teacher, she met such opposition to her holding a position in Berlin that in 1853 she emigrated to America, determined to become a doctor. With Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell as mentor, she attended Cleveland Medical College, graduating in 1856. In 1857, she and Blackwell opened the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, the first staffed totally by women. In 1859 she went to Boston to join the just-founded New England Female Medical College, but she quit over its lax standards (1862); she then opened the New England Hospital for Women and Children, staffed by female M.D.s and run by herself until 1899 when she retired. She and her hospital are credited with training many of the finest women physicians of the time and with advancing the acceptance of women in medicine. She also conducted an extensive private practice in Boston and found time to work for such causes as the abolition of slavery and for woman suffrage.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.