This year’s theme for Black History Month is Black Health and Wellness. Besides giving basic preventative measures and healthy habit suggestions, this is also a great opportunity to celebrate Black excellence in the medical field!
Here are just a few examples of the many figures throughout history who have made a significant impact on the healthcare field.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler, MD was a pioneer who faced both gender and racial prejudice. She was the first black woman in the United States to receive an MD degree in 1864. She dedicated much of her career to treating children and educating new mothers. She also cared for many poor patients regardless of their ability to pay.
James McCune Smith, MD was the first Black American to get a medical degree, to own a pharmacy, and to be published in U.S. medical journals. He dedicated much of his career debunking racist misconceptions about African Americans and was also a respected abolitionist who wrote about the moral injustices of slavery.
Louis Wade Sullivan, MD was the founding Dean at Morehouse School of Medicine. A native from Cyrano’s home town, Atlanta, Sullivan continues to serve as chair for numerous groups and institutions. He also served as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during President George H. W. Bush’s Administration.
In 1981, Alexa Irene Canady, MD became the first black neurosurgeon in the United States. She spent her career as a successful pediatric neurosurgeon and served as Chief of Neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Celebrate Black culture all month long, with video! Happy Recording!