• DIANNE HICKS-FLOURRY

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY OF DOCTORS


February 2017 is African American Month and we would like to give credit and recognition for all of the well-known, and little known doctors of African American decent. Some of these people are in medicine or in the medical field. There are some names you may even be familiar with as we begin to share each of them with you:

Dr. Clinton Canady, Jr. Originally from Detroit, in Michigan affectionately known as “Doc” began his distinguished career with a Doctorate of Dental Science from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN, and he was the second Black dentist in Lansing and practiced for over 50 years. Among his many accomplishments and achievements, Doc Canady served as: President of the Lansing Branch NAACP, the first Black member of the City of the Lansing Fire Board, the first Black member of the State of Michigan Dental Board, a National Dental Examiner, member of both the Michigan and National Dental Associations, the first Black member of the Country Club of Lansing, a founding member of Alpha Chi Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and a member of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Guardsmen. He worked tirelessly to provide employment opportunities for other members of the Black community in Lansing, Michigan.

Dr. Alexa Canady-Davis became the first African-American female Neurosurgeon and one of 10 first female neurosurgeons. She was Chief of Neurosurgery and Professor of Neurosurgery at the children’s hospital of Michigan for many years. Her specialty was Pediatric neurosurgery. Originally from Lansing, she and her mother are both in the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. They are the only mother-daughter duo in the history there.

Dr. Alexa Canady Davis received a Distinguished Service Award from Wayne State University, and the Leonard F. Swain Award Esteemed Alumni Award from University of Michigan Black Alumni. However, she is most proud of Teacher of the Year Award at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams who helped to start the first hospital owned and managed by Blacks is Provident Hospital in Chicago.

Dr. Percy Julian who discovered cortisone and he did research with birth control pills and steroids.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African American woman to become a physician in the United States.

Dr. Ben Carson from Michigan became famous when he performed an operation to separate a pair of Siamese twins, and most recently ran for President of the United States. He is now nominated to serve as Housing and Urban Development Secretary in the Donald Trump Administration.

Otis Boykin invented an artificial heart pacemaker control.

Patricia Bath, an Ophthalmologist, who was the first African American female physician to receive a patent for the medical invention that relates to cataract surgery. Also, she did research on a probe which revolutionized and that led to Ultra Technique.

African Americans have made significant contributions to the medical industry. Please join us and help us to celebrate their accomplishments.

MAE CAROL JEMISON (1956 -) – Physician, Astronaut – Jemison grew up in Chicago, IL and attended Stanford University on a National Achievement Scholarship and received a B.S. in chemical engineering and a B.A. in Afro-American studies in 1977. Jemison enrolled in Cornell University’s medical school and graduated. Her medical internship was at the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center. She then became a general practitioner with the INA/Ross Loos Medical Group in Los Angeles followed by a two-year Peace Corp medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Returning to the United States in 1985, she began working for CIGNA Health Plans, and a health maintenance organization in Los Angeles. In 1987, Mae Jemison was accepted in NASA’s Astronaut program and her first assignment was representing the astronaut office at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. On September 12, 1992, Jemison was aboard the space shuttle Endeavor. She was the first African-American woman in space. Jemison served aboard the Endeavor as a science specialist. Mae Jemison was the first guest speaker for Black History Month, sponsored by the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University, Kellogg Center, E. Lansing, Michigan.

SHIRLEY ANN JACKSON (1946 -) – Physicist – Jackson was from Washington, D.C. She graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree 1968. She stayed at M.I.T. for her doctoral studies and was the first African-American female to earn a Ph.D. in physics in 1973. She has worked as a member of the technical staff on theoretical physics at AT&T Bell Laboratories, as a visiting scientist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, and as a visiting lecturer at the at the NATO International Advanced Study Institute in Belgium. President Bill Clinton in 1995 named her as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jackson was named both board director of AT&T Corporation in 2001 and to the board of the Public Service Enterprise Corp within days of each other. Jackson has received numerous honorary degrees and awards. In 1998 she was inducted in the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

PRICE C. COBB (1928 -) – Psychiatrist, Writer – Cobb began following in the footsteps of his father, who was a doctor, and earned his B.A. in 1954 from the University of California of Berkeley, and in 1958 he received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. He established his own practice in Psychiatry in San Francisco a few years after graduation. As a writer, his first book was co-authored with California colleague William H. Grier, was Black Rage in 1968. The book is about the psychiatry associated with social and economic racism that was happening around that time. They also authored another book, entitled The Jesus Bag in 1971 on religion in the African-American community. In 1967 he founded the Pacific Management Systems as a diversity training service. Cobb is a member of numerous groups and organizations. He continues to encourage people to reevaluate their impressions and their misconception of others.


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