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Dalyce Newby

Alexander Thomas Augusta was born a free African American in Norfolk, Virginia, to parents whose names and occupations are unknown. Augusta received his early education from a Bishop Payne, defying a law that forbade African Americans to read or write. He continued to improve his reading skills while working as an apprentice to a barber. His interest in medicine led him to relocate to Baltimore, Maryland, where he studied with private tutors. Eventually, Augusta moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to serve an apprenticeship. Although he was denied entry to the University of Pennsylvania, Augusta caught the attention of Professor William Gibson, who allowed the young man to study in his office.

In January 1847 Augusta married Mary O. Burgoin in Baltimore Maryland They lived in California for three years before returning to the East Coast so that Augusta could pursue a medical degree Denied access ...

Article

Dalyce Newby

physician, Civil War surgeon, and medical educator, was born free in Norfolk, Virginia, to parents whose names and occupations are unknown. Augusta received his early education from a Bishop Payne, defying a law that forbade African Americans to read or write. He continued to improve his reading skills while working as an apprentice to a barber. His interest in medicine led him to relocate to Baltimore, where he studied with private tutors. Eventually, Augusta moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to serve an apprenticeship. Although he was denied entry to the University of Pennsylvania, Augusta caught the attention of Professor William Gibson, who allowed the young man to study in his office.

In January 1847 Augusta married Mary O. Burgoin in Baltimore They lived in California for three years before returning to the East Coast so that Augusta could pursue a medical degree Denied access despite his prior training in medicine ...

Article

Billy Scott

physician, otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat specialist), inventor, and administrator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of George W. Barnes, a laborer, and Eliza Webb Barnes and his two sisters lived poverty stricken lives on Lombard Street in a very poor area of the city Barnes decided at an early age to become a physician a decision unheard of and regarded in his neighborhood as preposterous His parents tried to discourage him from pursuing what to them seemed an impossible dream for a poor black youth hoping rather that he would focus on finding realistic employment Nevertheless determined Barnes walked ten miles every day to and from school and from his after school work as a porter and messenger for jewelry shops During summers he worked as a porter in hotels Seeing those who lived a far different and more elegant life than his own inspired ...

Article

Edward T. Morman

physician and public health activist, was born in Point-á-Pitre, Guadeloupe, French West Indies, the son of Eleodore Cornely and Adrienne Mellon. When he was three years old, his family moved to Santurce, Puerto Rico. In 1920 the family relocated to Harlem for one year and then moved to Detroit, where his father found work in an auto plant.

After attending Detroit City College, Cornely transferred to the University of Michigan. He earned his AB in 1928 and his MD in 1932 both from the University of Michigan where he was one of 4 blacks in a medical school class of 250 students Unable to get an internship in the North he spent a year at the segregated Lincoln Hospital in Durham North Carolina He intended to continue with specialty training in surgery but effectively barred from a residency he returned to the University of Michigan to study public ...

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Edward C. Halperin

physician, was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, the son of Smith Donnell, a real estate developer, and Lula Ingold. Donnell was raised in Greensboro, where he attended the public schools for African Americans and the high school operated by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University. He received an AB in 1911 from Howard University and an MD in 1915 from Harvard University. While at Harvard he studied under Milton J. Rosenau, the world-renowned scientist in preventive medicine and founder of the world's first school of public health, at Harvard in 1909. Since few hospitals would accept African Americans as interns at the time of Donnell's medical school graduation, he rotated as a fellow and observer at Boston City Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Children's Hospital from 1915 to 1916. Donnell's subsequent career was devoted to African American health education, insurance, and banking.

African ...

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Caryn E. Neumann

physician and activist, was born Lena Frances Edwards in Washington, D.C., the youngest of three children of Thomas Edwards, a professor of dentistry at Howard University, and Marie Coakley. Dissuaded from becoming a dentist by her father, the young Lena instead set her heart on a medical career. She graduated from Dunbar High School as valedictorian in 1918 and enrolled at Howard University. Her plans were nearly derailed when she fell victim to Spanish influenza during the deadly epidemic of 1918. Edwards managed to sufficiently recover to quickly resume her studies. The experience of narrowly escaping the “purple death” may have influenced Edwards to cram as much as possible into every hour of every day remaining to her. She took summer classes at the University of Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor's of science from Howard in June 1921 after only three years of study Accepted ...

Article

Amy M. Hay

Edwards’s service was also recognized in 1967 when she received the Poverello Medal, awarded to individuals whose lives followed the ideals of Saint Francis of Assisi. Blessed with financial and familial support, her ministry to poor European immigrants and Mexican migrants, her own life of voluntary poverty, and her service to the African American community all made her a worthy recipient of such honors. She spent a lifetime addressing the needs of the poor, women, students, and the aged.

Edwards was born in Washington, DC. Her parents, Thomas Edwards, a professor of dentistry at Howard University, and Marie Coakley Edwards, had three other children. Edwards grew up in a middle-class family, part of the capital’s elite society at the time. At an early age she decided she wanted to become a doctor. She attended Washington’s Dunbar High School, graduating in 1917 as valedictorian She attended Howard ...

Article

Elvatrice Parker Belsches

physician, surgeon, hospital administrator and founder, author, and medical organizational leader, was born at Redmonds, near Charlottesville, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Kenney was the second of three children born to the ex-slaves John A. and Caroline Howard Kenney. The elder Kenney was a farmer, storekeeper, community leader, and owner of a forty-acre farm. According to unpublished autobiographical sketches in the Kenney Papers, Kenney's parents could not read or write during his youth; however, they were determined that their children would be educated. Kenney's father spearheaded building across the road from his country store a one-room log house, which became the community's first country day school for black children. In addition to school and working in his father's store, Kenney learned all the intricacies of farming, from planting to sales.

The Kenneys experienced a grave loss when John was about fourteen His father who according ...

Article

Todd L. Savitt

physician, educator, and advocate for African American physicians, was born near Brownsville, Tennessee, the son of John Henry Lynk, a farmer, and Mary Louise Yancy, both former slaves. Miles's parents, members of the Colored (now Christian) Methodist Episcopal (CME) church, founded in nearby Jackson, Tennessee, named their son after the CME's first two bishops, William Henry Miles and Richard H. Vanderhorst. Miles received basic education from his mother, a country school near Brownsville, a tutor he hired with money he had earned, and a course of self-teaching, which he called attending “Pine Knot College.” At age seventeen Miles taught at an African American summer school in a neighboring county and used the money to apprentice himself to Jacob C. Hairston, a local physician and graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Robert Fulton Boyd a Meharry professor was sufficiently impressed with Lynk s ...

Article

Bridget Brereton

physician and pharmacologist, was born in Cocoye Village, Trinidad, to Lewis Albert Maloney, a building contractor and grocery chain operator, and Estelle Evetta (Bonas) Maloney, a needlepoint teacher to young women. Maloney has the distinction of being the first African American professor of pharmacology in the nation and the second person of African descent to earn both a medical degree and a doctorate of philosophy in the United States.

Arnold began his career planning to become a druggist in Trinidad. He studied at Naparima College in Trinidad, a school affiliated with Cambridge University in England, where he received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1909 Maloney had expectations of becoming a druggist in Trinadad however after receiving an unexpected letter from his uncle suggesting greater opportunities existed in the United States he migrated to New York to study medicine During this same year while attending Lincoln ...

Article

Mary Krane Derr

physician, educator, and community advocate, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, third among the six children of Marie Graves, a homemaker, and Homer E. Nash, a doctor. Helen and her brother Homer E. Nash Jr. were both inspired to enter medicine by their father's example. A 1910 Meharry graduate, their father ran a private practice on Atlanta's Auburn Avenue, working up to his death at age ninety-four in 1981. Helen also grew up quite aware of a much-admired black woman physician, Georgia Dwelle, who founded and directed Atlanta's first successful, black-run private and maternity hospital, the Dwelle Infirmary, where Nash was in fact born.

A family tragedy shaped Nash s choice to specialize in pediatrics Her firstborn sibling a girl died at twenty two months from a gastrointestinal illness that caused severe diarrhea and dehydration Well into the twentieth century diarrhea related dehydration was ...

Article

Dalyce Newby

Charles Burleigh Purvis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Purvis, Sr., a well-to-do abolitionist, and Harriet Forten, daughter of James Forten, a prosperous sailmaker and civic leader. Purvis received his early education in Quaker-administered public schools and then at Oberlin College, 1860–1863. For his medical studies he attended Wooster Medical College, which later was incorporated into Western Reserve University Medical School, in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating with an M.D. in 1865. During the summer of 1864 Purvis served as a military nurse, based at Camp Barker, a contraband hospital in Washington, D.C., which later formed the foundation of Freedmen's Hospital.

Upon graduating he petitioned to and was accepted by the U S Volunteers as an assistant surgeon for the Union army one of only eight African Americans accepted as surgeons during the war He held the rank of first ...

Article

Dalyce Newby

physician and medical educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Purvis Sr., a well-to-do abolitionist, and Harriet Forten Purvis, daughter of James Forten, a prosperous sailmaker and civic leader. Purvis received his early education in Quaker-administered public schools and then at Oberlin College, which he attended from 1860 to 1863. For his medical studies he attended Wooster Medical College, which later was incorporated into Western Reserve University Medical School, in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating with an MD in 1865. During the summer of 1864 Purvis served as a military nurse, based at Camp Barker, a contraband hospital in Washington, D.C., which later formed the foundation of Freedmen's Hospital.

Upon graduating he petitioned to and was accepted by the U S Volunteers as an assistant surgeon for the Union army one of only eight African Americans accepted as surgeons during the war He ...

Article

Shari Rudavsky

Roman Charles Victor was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the son of James William Roman, a former slave, and Anna Walker McGuinn, the child of a former slave. Roman's parents met in Canada, where his father had fled about twenty years before the Civil War. After the Emancipation Proclamation a year and a half before Charles s birth they had moved back to the United States but making a living there was difficult and by the time Charles was six the family returned to Ontario where his father worked as a broom maker From an early age Charles knew he wanted to be a physician Soon after the move to Canada he apprenticed himself to a local herbalist possibly his grandmother His practice ended when one of his patients parents became nervous about the treatment Roman had administered and called in the local doctor who ...

Article

Shari Rudavsky

physician and medical educator, was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the son of James William Roman, a former slave, and Anna Walker McGuinn the child of a former slave Charles s parents met in Canada where his father had fled about twenty years before the Civil War After the Emancipation Proclamation a year and a half before his birth they had moved back to the United States but making a living there was difficult and by the time Charles was six the family had returned to Ontario where his father worked as a broom maker From an early age Charles knew he wanted to be a physician Soon after the move to Canada he apprenticed himself to a local herbalist possibly his grandmother His practice ended when one of his patient s parents became nervous about the treatment Roman had administered and called in the local doctor who ...

Article

Diana Kristine Durham

organist, stenographer, college professor, physician, and hospital founder, was born in St. John, Antigua, British West Indies, the son of John Sebastian and Sara Elizabeth Roberts. He studied at Antigua's Mico College, a normal school established for blacks by Lady Mico Trust, where he studied a rigorous curriculum that included English, Latin, Greek, mathematics, science, astronomy, history, and geography. Sebastian, like many of the students at Mico College, viewed his normal training as preparation for a career other than teaching.

In 1901 Sebastian immigrated to the United States After arriving in Philadelphia he obtained employment as a stenographer and an organist A year later he moved to Greensboro North Carolina to work at the Agricultural and Mechanical College later North Carolina A T State University Sebastian who was broadly educated in the Caribbean taught English geography foreign languages and mathematics and was also ...

Article

Deborah Lois Taylor

transplant surgeon and associate professor of surgery, was born Miguel Samuel West, the second of seven children to Daisy and Joseph West in Chicago, Illinois. His mother was a social worker, and his father worked as an electrical engineer. His parents separated leaving him to be raised by his hardworking, determined mother. The West children drew inspiration from their mother's work ethic and also from the expectations of their paternal grandmother, who was a teacher. Born in 1913 West s grandmother retained the pins school transcripts and certificates belonging to their ancestors who had graduated from schools in the South during the 1860s West grew up believing that There is no reason that we West and his siblings can t go to school Our ancestors went to school during slavery exclaimed West in an interview Miguel West s wife Sandra whom he had known since he was eight ...

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Kenneth R. Manning

biochemist, educator, and physician, was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents' names and occupations are unknown. After attending Sumner High School in Kansas City from 1913 to 1917, he entered the University of Kansas, where he majored in chemistry and graduated with an AB in 1921. He stayed an additional year at Kansas before attending the medical school of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where he earned an MD in 1925 During his medical studies he listed his place of residence as Council Bluffs Iowa Next came a year of internship at Kansas City General Hospital No 2 followed by a one year appointment as house surgeon at Wheatley Provident Hospital also in Kansas City These hospitals located in a racially segregated city served the African American community exclusively and provided one of the few means ...