5 Influential Healthcare Figures in History

A healthcare professional is a qualified individual who sets aside their own personal problems to carry out a variety of responsibilities and duties for the greater good. They are entrusted to maintain composure and efficiency while helping every and any person, regardless of their personal loss or gain. Throughout history, many people have had to face challenges and oppose societal norms to provide a better, safer future.

  1. Clara Barton

As the founder of the Red Cross in 1881, Clara Barton is a distinguished woman in the history of healthcare who lived her life based on of the principle of caring for other people. During the American Civil War, she risked everything to treat wounded soldiers on the battle field and bring supplies to the fighting troops.

Clara Barton tended to injured soldiers during the Civil War. Source: wsj.com
Clara Barton tended to injured soldiers during the Civil War. Source: wsj.com

2. Elizabeth Blackwell

In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. She played an important role in promoting education for women in medicine and later founded a teaching hospital with her sister which, to this day, provides training and experience for women in the medical field.

3. Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney is renowned for becoming the first African American professionally trained nurse in 1879 which changed the scope of inclusiveness of the profession forever. She devoted endless effort, time, and hard work to complete the rigorous nursing program. Due to the dominant racial prejudice at the time, Mahoney worked in the private sector for thirty years but continued to bring awareness to the inequality of minorities in nursing.

4. Joseph Lister

A surgeon and medical scientist, Joseph Lister was a pioneer in antiseptic and preventive medicine. When he first revealed his principle about surgical sterile techniques, he faced universal opposition and disagreement. However, the surgical opinion changed after the success of an operation carried out in antiseptic conditions. Thanks to Lister and his research, the rate of infection has dropped dramatically.

Joseph Lister was a prominent advocate for sterile surgery. Source: sciencemuseum.org.uk
Joseph Lister was a prominent advocate for sterile surgery. Source: sciencemuseum.org.uk

5. Florence Nightingale

Recognized by many as the most famous nurse in history, Florence Nightingale revolutionized the quality of patient care and defined the profession by giving new importance to certain objectives. Not only did she transform the foundation of nursing, but she also founded a hospital and training school which taught nurses.

 

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