Article about integration and diversity in the School of Medicine from a Fall 2005 issue of the DukeMed Alumni News. Part of the Publications Collection. Also available on MEDSpace (article begins on page 10).
Below is a selection of key dates important to the history of African Americans at Duke Medicine.
1930 – Duke Hospital opens on July 21. It admits African American patients, although the facilities are segregated and the hospital has fewer designated beds for blacks than for whites.
1930 – Duke hires its first African American employees. Donald Love, who worked in pathology from 1930 until his retirement in 1974, is considered the first African American hire.
1948 – Duke’s licensed practical nursing (LPN) program begins. Although there were already several others in the state, Duke’s is the only one in North Carolina established exclusively for training African American nurses.
1963 – The School of Medicine admits the first African American student.
1963-1965 – Duke Hospital is integrated.
1970 – Dr. Charles Johnson, the first African American faculty member, is appointed.
1989 – The first meeting of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons is held at Duke.
1991 – Duke begins new research program on health of black American entitled, “Health, Behavior and Aging in Black Americans,” believed to be the first such program in the country.
Below is a selection of African American firsts at Duke Medicine, arranged alphabetically.
Onye Akwari – First black professor of surgery at Duke’s School of Medicine, 1978
Brenda Armstrong – First African American to serve as a full professor in pediatrics in the School of Medicine and the first to be board certified in pediatric cardiology in the U.S.
Haywood Brown – First African American chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical Center, 2002
James Carter – First African American professor of psychiatry at Duke’s School of Medicine, 1971
Charles Curry – First African American fellow in Adult Cardiology at Duke’s School of Medicine, 1982
Sayde Curry – First African American woman postgraduate trainee (Gastroenterology), 1969
Kafui Dzirasa – First black neurobiology Ph.D. student, 2007
Donna Allen Harris – First African American School of Nursing student, 1967
Prentiss L. Harrison – Nation’s first African American Physician Assistant; graduate of the Duke program, 1968
Eddie L. Hoover – First African American house officer, 1969
Danny O. Jacobs – First African American chair of Surgery at the Medical Center, 2003
Charles Johnson – First African American fellow in Endocrinology at Duke’s School of Medicine, 1967, and first African American faculty member, 1970
W. Delano Meriwether – First African American student admitted to Duke's School of Medicine, 1963
Jean Spaulding – First African American woman to graduate from Duke’s School of Medicine, 1972
Joanne A. P. Wilson – First African American woman, and the first woman, to serve as a full professor in the Duke Department of Internal Medicine, 1986