The Youngest African-American Female Doctor in the World- Ava Roberts.
Youngest African-American Female Doctor
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Youngest African-American female doctor Ava Roberts
Congratulations to Ava Roberts (23) is right now the youngest first African-American female doctor in the world! While word of this accomplishment has regrettably been minimal, French site Pelea reports that “after a gifted childhood, Roberts quickly excelled through medical school and
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became a force to be reckoned with as the youngest African-American female doctor.” Such an amazing young age, considering how long doctors go to school?! Must have been a child prodigy! You go girl! Such a great role model to young women everywhere! for being the youngest African-American female doctor.
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The first black doctor in history was James McCune Smith. He couldn’t go to medical school in New York, so James McCune Smith went to Scotland for his degree and returned home to treat the city’s poor.
The degree he earned in 1837 made him the nation’s first professionally trained African-American doctor. He set up a medical practice in lower Manhattan and became the resident physician at an orphanage and was the first African-American to own and operate a pharmacy in the United States.
Smith lived and died during a time in America when little attention was given to the achievements of black people. Smith’s children refused to promote their father’s legacy and even shunned their African-American heritage.
While hardly a household name, Smith was well known enough that a public school in Harlem was named after him. Danny Glover portrayed him in a video produced by the New York Historical Society.
Smith also was the first African-American to publish scholarly studies in peer-reviewed medical journals, Stauffer said. He also wrote essays countering theories of black racial inferiority that had currency then. He was a friend and associate of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and he wrote the introduction to Douglass’ “My Bondage and My Freedom.”
In 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African-American woman to receive a medical degree. It’s about time another record is broken!
Rebecca Lee Crumpler challenged the prejudice that prevented Black Americans form pursuing careers in medicine to become the first Black woman in the United States to earn an MD degree. Although little has survived to tell the story of her life, Dr. Crumpler secured her place in the historical record with her two-volume book, The Book of Medical Discourses, published in 1883.
Miss Crumpler was born a free woman of color in 1831 in Delaware. Early in her life she moved to Pennsylvania, living with her aunt, “whose usefulness with the sick was continually sought”. At that time “I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others,” she wrote.
By 1852 Dr. Crumpler had moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where she worked as a nurse for the next eight years. In 1860, with the help of written recommendations from the doctors she worked with, she was admitted to the New England Female Medical College. When she graduated in 1864, Dr. Crumpler was the first Black woman in the United States to earn an MD degree and the only Black woman to graduate from the New England Female Medical College, which closed in 1873.
Dr. Crumpler practiced in Boston for a short while, working mostly with poor women and children. When the Civil War ended in 1865, she moved to Richmond, Virginia, believing it would be “a proper field for real missionary work, and one that would present ample opportunities to become acquainted with the diseases of women and children.” Working with the Freedmen’s Bureau, she joined other Black physicians caring for freed slaves who would otherwise have had no access to medical care. She experienced “intense racism”: “men doctors” snubbed her, druggists balked at filling her prescriptions, and some people wisecracked that the MD behind her name stood for nothing more than “Mule Drive.”
“At the close of my services in that city” she explained, “I returned to my former home, Boston, where I entered into the work with renewed vigor.” By 1880 Dr. Crumpler had moved to Hyde Park, Massachusetts, and was no longer in active practice when she wrote her book three years later. She was married to Mr. Arthur Crumpler.
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