Feb. 14, 2013
The stories of pioneering African-American physicians who first established medical practices in Texas after the Civil War are told in the Texas Medical Association (TMA) online exhibit, “Courage and Determination.” These pioneers faced big challenges practicing medicine during the racial segregation of America’s “Jim Crow” years. Texas’ first African-American doctor, Quinton Belvedere Neal, MD, began treating patients in 1882, helping pave the way for others ― some of whom were born into slavery.
The TMA exhibit celebrates Black History Month with its profiles of more than 60 pioneering African-American physicians from all regions of the state. “Courage and Determination” is based on the popular museum display on exhibit in the TMA History of Medicine Gallery in 2010-11. TMA’s was the first known exhibit on this subject presented by a state medical association.
The online exhibit honors other doctor-pioneers like Monroe Alpheus Majors, MD, of Waco, the first African-American from Texas to earn a medical degree; William Arthur Hammond, MD, of Bryan, one of the first to open a Black Hospital in Texas; Edith Irby Jones, MD, of Houston, a TMA member, who was the first to desegregate a Southern medical school; and Frank Bryant Jr., MD, of San Antonio (also a TMA member), the first African-American to serve on TMA’s governing body, the House of Delegates. Some of these earliest African-American physicians were born slaves, such as Franklin R. Robey, MD, of Houston, while others were the children of slaves, such as George M. Munchus, MD, of Fort Worth.
To visit the online exhibit, visit www.texmed.org/gallery/, and click on the Courage and Determination link.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. TMA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the association and raises funds to support the public health and science priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine.
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