ISHIB SALUTES BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
Medical Pioneers Past and Present
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams (1856-1931)
Dr. Williams performed the first successful open heart surgery in 1893 and founded Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses (the first black-owned hospital in America) in 1891. From 1893-1898, he was Surgeon-in-Chief, Freedmen’s Hospital, Washington, DC. He also founded the National Medical Association in 1895 (Negroes were denied membership in the American Medical Association) and was a charter member of the American College of Surgeons (first and only Negro member for many years) in 1913.
Dr. William Augustus Hinton (1883-1959)
First Negro physician to publish a textbook – Syphilis and Its Treatment, 1936. Known internationally for his development of a flocculation method for the detection of syphilis called the “Hinton Test.” Dr. Hinton is also the first Negro to hold a professorship at Harvard University. He was born in Chicago December 15, 1883, attended the University of Kansas from 1900-1902 then transferred to Harvard, graduating Harvard Medical School in 1912. From 1921-1946 he taught bacteriology and immunology at Harvard before being promoted to clinical professor in 1949.
Dr. Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950)
Charles Drew was a pioneer researcher in blood plasma for transfusion and in the development of blood banks. He was the first Director, American Red Cross Blood Bank, Professor, Howard University, and Chief Surgeon, Freedmen’s Hospital. The U.S. Postal Service issued a Commemorative Stamp with his portrait in 1981. Drew received his M.D. and Master of Surgery (C.M.) degree from McGill University in 1933. On April 1, 1950, Drew died after an auto accident in rural Alamance County, North Carolina.
Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845-1926)
First Black professional nurse in the United States (1879). Mary’s parents moved from North Carolina to Boston, where she was born on April 16, 1845. In Boston, Negro children were not permitted to attend schools with Whites until 1855, and even in New England, domestic service was the only way for a Negro woman to make a living. Interested in a nursing career from the age of eighteen, Mary was a “nurse” for several prominent white families prior to entering formal nurse training. On March 23, 1878, she was the “first coloured girl admitted” (Medical and Nursing Record Book, 1878) to the nurse training program at the New England Hospital for Women and Children; she graduated sixteen months later at the age of thirty-four. (Note: Mahoney’s biographer, Helen Miller, was associate professor of nursing research at North Carolina Central University.)
Dr. James McCune Smith (1811-1865)
First American Negro to earn a medical degree, 1837 (University of Glasgow). Negroes were denied admission to U.S. medical schools at the time. First black to operate a pharmacy in the United States.
Dr. James Francis Shober (1853-1889)
First known Negro physician with a medical degree to practice in North Carolina. He was born in Winston Salem, August 23, 1853; graduate of Lincoln University, Oxford, Pa., 1875; M.D. from Howard University School of Medicine, 1878. Married Anna Maria Taylor, 1881; Practiced medicine in Wilmington, NC until his death, January 6, 1889.
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler 1858-19??
First Negro female to earn a medical degree, 1864 (New England Female Medical College, Boston). Note: Controversial with Rebecca J. Cole, (1846-1922) who received a medical degree from Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1867. (Photo unavailable)
Dr. Elijah Saunders
The first black resident in internal medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1960. He was also the first black cardiologist in Maryland and was integral in abolishing segregated hospital wards at what was then University Hospital (now the University of Maryland Medical Center). Dr. Saunders is a founding member of ISHIB and Association of Black Cardiologists.
Historical data courtesy of Duke University