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Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, c1865.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, c1865.
Courtesy of Royal London Hospital Archives.


Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917) was the first British woman to qualify as a doctor, a pioneer in the medical education of women and a feminist campaigner.

She was born in Whitechapel and was educated both at home and at a boarding school for ladies in Blackheath.

In the 1850s, she met Elizabeth Blackwell and Emily Davies, who later founded Girton College, Cambridge. Anderson was a member of the Langham Place Group and a member of the Suffragette Movement.

Her activities and acquaintances led her to decide to become a doctor, though she struggled to find a place to study. Between 1863-64, she studied dissection and anatomy at The London Hospital Medical College. In 1866, the year she qualified and was listed on the Medical Register, she established a dispensary for women in London.

In 1872, Anderson founded the London Hospital for Women which was staffed entirely by women. In 1883, Anderson went on become Dean of the London School of Medicine for Women, which she founded with other pioneering women doctors, including Sophia Jex-Blake, Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell.


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