In support of the ongoing struggle for equality, the Silkin Team celebrates Black History Month in 2020 by contributing to Human Rights & equality groups in the US and abroad.
As you go about your practice this month, whether you are American or not, don’t forget to pause a moment…
…and thank those who refused to allow racism & discrimination to dim their dedication to the hippocratic oath, thereby bringing medicine one step further for us all.
3 Black Doctors Who Broke Barriers
Ophthalmologist Patricia Bath was an early pioneer of laser cataract surgery.
She was also the first African-American woman to serve on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center.
As historical figures go, Dr. Bath’s life was an incredible one.
Her freshman year at Howard coincided with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and after the assassination of MLK Jr., she dedicated herself to achieving one of the dreams of King, namely the empowerment of people through the Poor People’s Campaign.
Dr. Bath also invented a process to improve laser removal of cataracts, making her the first African-American woman to receive a patent for a medical purpose.
Dr. Robert Tanner Freeman was born a slave in 1846 near Washington, D.C.
Although his father later bought the freedom of his entire family when they moved to Virginia, the young Robert still faced discrimination. He refused to accept the rejections of two universities, finally becoming the first African American awarded a dental degree in the U.S. on March 10th, 1869.
Dr. Freeman’s success paved the way for a much needed cultural and political change, and his descendents continued his work, with grandson Robert C. Weaver becoming the first African American to serve in the U.S. Cabinet.
Thanks to the persistence and determination of Dr. Freeman, the culture of dentistry changed forever.
Lastly, and proving that the fight for civil liberties & equality is not dead, in 1991 Dr. Debbye Turner Bell became the first African American to be both a beauty queen, and a veterinarian!
Dr. Bell won the 1990 title as Miss America, just days before her 25th birthday, and went on the following year to graduate with her degree in Veterinary Medicine.
Not surprisingly, her Alma Mater was Arkansas State University, the very same where Lt. Col. Frederick C. Turner Jr. once wrote,
“I am so proud that I simply cannot write an anecdote filled with the horrors of blatant disrespect and mistreatment at the hand of white classmates, faculty and staff members or citizens of the community…none of that happened.
Not then, not ever.”
What community goals & social responsibility is your practice taking on for 2020? Share your answers with us on the Silkin Facebook Page.
Have you always wanted to make a bigger impact in your community? Speak to a Silkin Consultant about setting future goals for your practice and your life.