Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska was born in Berlin, Germany to a Polish family. In 1853, she came to the USA to obtain the medical training denied her in Europe. She became a pioneering female physician and with Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell, established the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. In 1862, she co-founded the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston. She set high standards for the clinical training of doctors and nurses for women.