Minority Health Archive

Creating a segregated medical profession: African American physicians and organized medicine, 1846-1910.

Baker, Robert B and Washington, Harriet A and Olakanmi, Ololade and Savitt, Todd L and Jacobs, Elizabeth A and Hoover, Eddie and Wynia, Matthew K and Blanchard, Janice and Boulware, L Ebony and Braddock, Clarence and Corbie-Smith, Giselle and Crawley, LaVera and LaVeist, Thomas A and Maxey, Randall and Mills, Charles and Moseley, Kathryn L and Williams, David R (2009) Creating a segregated medical profession: African American physicians and organized medicine, 1846-1910. Journal of the National Medical Association, 101 (6). pp. 501-512. ISSN 0027-9684

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Abstract

An independent panel of experts, convened by the American Medical Association (AMA) Institute for Ethics, analyzed the roots of the racial divide within American medical organizations. In this, the first of a 2-part report, we describe 2 watershed moments that helped institutionalize the racial divide. The first occurred in the 1870s, when 2 medical societies from Washington, DC, sent rival delegations to the AMA's national meetings: an all-white delegation from a medical society that the US courts and Congress had formally censured for discriminating against black physicians; and an integrated delegation from a medical society led by physicians from Howard University. Through parliamentary maneuvers and variable enforcement of credentialing standards, the integrated delegation was twice excluded from the AMA's meetings, while the all-white society's delegations were admitted. AMA leaders then voted to devolve the power to select delegates to state societies, thereby accepting segregation in constituent societies and forcing African American physicians to create their own, separate organizations. A second watershed involved AMA-promoted educational reforms, including the 1910 Flexner report. Straightforwardly applied, the report's population-based criterion for determining the need for phySicians would have recommended increased training of African American physicians to serve the approximately 9 million African Americans in the segregated south. Instead, the report recommended closing all but 2 African American medical schools, helping to cement in place an African American educational system that was separate, unequal, and destined to be insufficient to the needs of African Americans nationwide.


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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: American Medical Association (AMA), African American physicians,
Subjects: Health > Health Equity
Health > Health Equity > Access To Healthcare
Health > Policy
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Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2011 10:46
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2011 10:46
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/2722

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