In order to have a really outstanding medical team, you need people from all walks of life to cater to every group. That’s why, in Honor of Black History Month, we’re taking time to honor some of the Black doctors who paved the way for diversity in the medical field.
- James McCune Smith was the first African American man to hold a medical degree. Born in 1813, he was denied admission to multiple American colleges before going abroad to study at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Considered one of the most broadly accomplished activists, he paved the way for future black doctors. Read more about Dr. Smith’s journey of success HERE.
- Rebecca Lee Crumpler was a pioneer in many ways. In 1864, she was the first African American woman to earn a M.D. degree. Later, in 1883, she published one of the first medical publications by an African American. She was particularly passionate about serving women and children in her work. Read more about her life story HERE.
- Damon Tweedy didn’t go into the medical field thinking about his race. But as he watched how his fellow doctors treated patients of color, he realized that even the most educated made assumptions and held them to a different standard. His book, Black Man in a White Coat, is an intelligent and introspective look on his time in the medical field. It’s worth your time to check out his interview on YouTube.
- Alexa Canady is a Michigan born physician, and one of the first African American women to become a neurosurgeon in the United States. She worked at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan until 2001. After retiring, she moved to Florida and began working part-time at Pensacola’s Sacred Heart Hospital when she learned that there were no pediatric neurosurgeons in her area. Read more about her honors and achievements on bio.com.
- Charles Modlin is one of less than 20 African-American transplant surgeons in the United States. He established the Minority Men’s Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic in 2003. He is well known in the medical community for his work in assuring that African-American men get the help that they need for various medical conditions. Check out his short YouTube video on the disparate outcomes affecting the minority population.
- Patricia Bath is known as the first black American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Her patent was for a device to remove cataracts, and has helped countless people. For more, click HERE.
These are just some of the amazing doctors who have changed the face of the medical profession. Hopefully, they’ll be inspiring future doctors for generations to come!