James Durham, born a slave in 1762, buys his freedom and begins his own medical practice in New Orleans, becoming the first African-American doctor in the United States. James McCune Smith wasn't just any doctor. He was the first African-American to obtain a medical degree, educated at the University of Glasgow in the 1830s, when no American university would admit it. For this pioneering achievement alone, Smith deserves greater appreciation.
James McCune Smith, MD, was a man of the first. In 1837, he became the first African-American to receive a medical degree, although he had to enroll in the Medical School of the University of Glasgow due to racist admission practices at the University of Glasgow. And that was far from his only groundbreaking achievement. He was also the first black person to own and operate a pharmacy in the United States and the first black doctor published in the U.S.
UU. James McCune Smith and his Lasting Impact on Medicine and Social Justice. Freedom, education, and access to health care were opportunities all too often beyond the reach of African Americans in 1813, when Dr. Denied by the color of his skin.
But with financial support from abolitionists, Smith pursued his dream across the ocean, attending the University of Glasgow in Scotland to become a pioneer: the first African American to earn a medical degree. Smith achieved so much in his life, but not the recognition he deserved from his colleagues in the medical community. When most people talk about heroes in black history, many remember names like Frederick Douglas, Mary McCleoud Bethune, Benjamin Banneker and Sojurner Truth. While all of those names are great, many forget those who paved the way in the field of medicine, even in times of slavery.
James McCune Smith is one of those. McCune was one of the most prominent black intellectuals and activists in the United States. Born in New York on April 18, 1813, to a mother who bought her own freedom and a father who may have been a freed slave or a white merchant, Smith attended the African Free School in New York City. In 1824, the retired hero of the War of Independence, General Lafayette, returned to the United States for a tour of the nation.
While in New York, he visited the African Free School and, out of all the students, chose James to write and deliver the welcome speech. Smith was only 11 years old. Smith died in 1865 at the age of 52, five months after the end of the Civil War and less than three weeks before the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, well aware that African Americans still faced a long and tough struggle for equality. The New York recruitment riots of July 1863, in which mobs attacked not only the city's wealthy New Yorkers but also black New Yorkers, had made that clear to him.
James McCune Smith was the first African-American to receive a doctorate in medicine from a university. Born in 1813 to a poor fugitive slave from South Carolina who had escaped to New York City, he went on to attend the University of Glasgow during the 1830s. When he returned to the United States, he became a prominent black doctor, a tireless abolitionist, activist and journalist. A prolific writer, Smith was not only the first African American to publish peer-reviewed articles in medical journals; he also wrote essays and lectured refuting pseudoscientific claims of black inferiority and predicted the transformative impact that African Americans were destined to make on world culture.
In the back, he met with other activists and conspired to end slavery in the South, win the vote of blacks in New York, and educate black youth. He was born in Liberia but moved to the United States to study at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, a historically black Christian university. Perhaps these pioneers, and others like them, will inspire the next generation of black medical professionals to emulate their achievements. In 1981, she became the first black neurosurgeon in the United States, and just a few years later, she rose to the ranks of head of neurosurgery at Michigan Children's Hospital.
Unlike the many collections that university libraries have dedicated to preserving the legacy of white physicians who were former students or donors, there is no “James McCune Smith” Medical Collection where academics can go to study their medical careers and scientific ideas. In five years, Smith graduated with a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and a medical degree, becoming the first African-American to hold a medical degree. After McCune Smith returned to the United States in the fall of 1837, he served as a professional model for African Americans who studied medicine from the 1840s onwards. He was also the first black person to own and operate a pharmacy in the United States and the first black doctor to be published in U.
He then managed to raise money to attend the University of Glasgow in Scotland, where, after obtaining a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, he obtained a medical degree in 1837.And she was the first black doctor to receive a medical patent in 1988 for the Laserphaco probe, a device used in cataract surgery. Smith served for 20 years as medical director of the Colored Orphans Asylum, a position he took a few years after he accused the former asylum doctor of negligence for concluding that the deaths among his positions were due to the “peculiar constitution and condition” of the race of color. Thanks to maritime trade, it was one of the largest cities in the country and the university's medical school was one of the best in Europe. In disbelief of his talent, some male doctors did not take into account his medical opinions or approve his prescriptions.
After graduating, several black students attended college throughout the century. . .