Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dr. James McCune Smith: First African-American to Earn a Medical Degree


Dr. James McCune Smith (1813-1865) First African-American to earn a medical degree, 1837 (University of Glasgow, Scotland). Not only the first black American to obtain a medical degree, he was a prominent abolitionist and suffragist, compassionate physician, prolific writer, and public intellectual. He was denied admission to colleges in the United States, his native land, and earned his medical, master's, and baccalaureate degrees at Glasgow University in Scotland. On his return to New York City in 1837, Smith became the first black physician to publish articles in US medical journals. Frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith, and John Brown personally collaborated with James McCune Smith in the fight for black freedom. As the learned physician-scholar of the abolition movement, Smith was instrumental in making the overthrow of slavery credible and successful.(SOURCE: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health)


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