On one hand one of the reasons why there was so much opposition to women becoming doctors was because in society women were expected to marry young and look after children. The idea of women working was shocking as people did not expect their daughters or wives to work for a living. The men believed that it was them who were superior, both mentally and physically. They saw no sense in educating women as they believed that women were too stupid to understand medicine. They assumed that they could not trust these women and accept that they would not make any mistakes which could lead to the death of the patient. Moreover, any woman that succeeded in becoming a doctor was still thought of as inferior to the men because they believed she would not be able to understand their complex minds.
On the other and this opposition also could have been due to the reputation of nurses in the first half of the 19th century. With no sense of professionalism, the nurses were untidy and sometimes even took prostitution as their second job which encouraged the men to believe that all women would be the same if they were to enter the world of medicine. So even the women who were genuinely interested in becoming professional doctors would have been labelled under the same category as these nurses.
Nowadays, women can be seen in any field of medicine: sports medicine, surgery, dermatology, and
many more. Before choosing in which field they want to become an expert in, women have to go through the general studies of college classes. But where would we be without Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first American woman with a medical degree? Or others like her who fought for minorities in medicine?