Today is the anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive an MD degree from an American medical school. She was rejected by all the major medical schools in the nation because of her gender. However, her application to Geneva Medical School (now Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York) was referred to the student body. They accepted thinking it was a joke from a rival school. Working with grit and determination, she overcame the hostility of her fellow students, professors and townspeople and earned her medical degree in 1849.