In honor of Black History Month, the Office of Minority Health Resource Center has provided a list of a few of the leading African American doctors in the United States, along with their area of specialty, state and a brief background.
Information provided by Black Enterprise On-line Magazine
Henry W. Williams Jr., M.D.
Title: Assistant medical director, Washington Center for Aging Services; interim chairman, department of community health and family practice, Howard University College of Medicine
Howard University Hospital
Note: A diplomat of the American Board of Preventive Medicine, Dr. Williams is a pioneer in family medicine. He ran the division of family practice at Howard, and directed its residency training program.
Javette C. Orgain, M.D.
Title: Assistant professor of clinical family medicine at University of Illinois College of Medicine
St. Joseph Hospital
Note: Former president of the National Medical Association, involved in community health on the local, national, and international levels, Dr. Orgain is a co-principal investigator on a project to monitor hypertension in African Americans in Chicago.
Michael A. LeNoir, M.D.
Title: COO and medical director, Bay Area MultiCultural Clinical Research and Education Center; chief of allergy services, San Francisco General Hospital
Specialty: Pediatric allergy and immunology
Note: Renowned for his work in pediatric asthma and immunology; he is also associate clinical professor, pediatrics, at the University of California, San Francisco; he is a principal investigator, trustee, and chairman of the allergy section, NMA.
Elizabeth O. Ofili, M.D.
Title: Professor of Medicine and Chief of Cardiology at Morehouse School of Medicine,
President of American Association of Black Cardiologists
Morehouse School of Medicine
Note: President of the National Association of Black Cardiologists based in Atlanta, Ofili has published more than 100 scientific papers, book chapters, and abstracts. Dr. Ofili is also a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (F.A.C.C.)
Elijah Saunders, M.D.
Title: Head of hypertension, division of cardiology, University of Maryland Medical Center; professor of medicine, cardiology and hypertension, UM School of Medicine
Note: Dr. Saunders is a pioneer in the fields of hypertension and heart disease, with particular emphasis on African Americans, and is founder and past president of the Association of Black Cardiologists and the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks.
Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr., M.D.
Title: Director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions; professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at JHMI.
Note: Carson's keen hand-eye coordination and ability to envision objects in three dimensions enabled him to perfect his surgical skills. In 1984 he became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution. Two of his most celebrated cases occurred in Germany in 1987 and South Africa in 1997, when Carson led a team of surgeons who on both occasions separated a pair of Siamese twins who were joined at the head. Over the course of his 20-year career, Carson has performed over 300 operations on both children and adults, written three books, and launched several humanitarian efforts.
Karol E. Watson, M.D.
Title: Assistant professor of medicine in cardiology, UCLA School of Medicine, co-director UCLA program in preventive cardiology, and director UCLA Center for Cholesterol and Hypertension Management
Los Angeles, CA
Note: Dr. Watson is a clinical cardiologist and researcher working on the role of molecular and cellular biology in atherosclerosis with an emphasis on calcification in this disease.
Rachelle A. Scott, M.D.
Title: Associate professor of clinical dermatology, and of dermatology in pediatrics, department of dermatology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
New York, New York
Specialty: Pediatric dermatology
Note: Board certified in pediatrics and dermatology, Dr. Scott specializes in skin disorders that are outgrowths of systemic problems (e.g., lupus, skin cancers).
A. Paul Kelly, M.D.
Title: Chair, division of dermatology, King/Drew Medical Center; professor of medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Los Angeles, CA
Note: A past president of the Association of Professors of Dermatology and the American Dermatological Association, Dr. Kelly did pioneering work on keloids.
Robert L. Collins, M.D.
Title: Director, section of reproductive endocrinology, and associate residency director, OB-GYN department, St. Elizabeth Medical Center
Specialty: Reproductive endocrinology
Note: Dr. Collins established the first anonymous egg donation program in the country at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and is a nationally recognized authority on infertility and in vitro fertilization.
Ervin E. Jones, M.D.
Title: Professor and director of medical studies, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine
New Haven, CT
Specialty: Reproductive endocrinology
Note: Recognized as an expert on infertility and head of the in vitro fertilization program at Yale, Dr. Jones is a Mellon fellow in reproductive sciences and is the former NMA chair of the OB-GYN section, and a NIH consultant in his area of expertise.
Wilbert C. Jordan, M.D.
Title: Director, OASIS Clinic and AIDS Program, King/Drew Medical Center; director, Drew Center for AIDS Research
Los Angeles, California
Note: A leading researcher on AIDS in the African American community, Dr. Jordan is internationally known as a community-based practitioner with a long history of researching infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, smallpox, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Cheryl A. Smith, M.D.
Title: Medical director, AIDS Center at North General Hospital, and assistant professor of medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
New York, NY
Note: Dr. Smith has worked with HIV/AIDS patients throughout the world through the International Medical Corps and is currently a principal investigator on three HIV studies. She also sits on the medical school admissions committee for Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Edith Irby Jones, M.D.
Title: Medical director, Universal Healthplan of Texas; clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Note: Dr. Jones is the first African American to graduate from the University of Arkansas Medical School, which was a predominantly white Southern school. She is one of the founding members of the Association of Black Cardiologists.
Neil R. Powe, M.D.
Title: Director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research; professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Note: Dr. Powe is the first African American to achieve the rank of full professor of medicine in the more than 100-year history of the John Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Powe's work focuses on chronic kidney disease, including its disproportionate impact on African Americans.
Chamberlain I. Obialo, M.D.
Title: Director of the dialysis unit, chief of nephrology, and associate professor of medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine
Note: Dr. Obialo heads the kidney and dialysis unit at Morehouse. Primarily a researcher, he is also a teacher.
Velvie A. Pogue, M.D.
Title: Chief, division of nephrology, and associate attending, Harlem Hospital; assistant professor of clinical medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
New York, New York
Note: Dr. Pogue heads the kidney and dialysis unit at Harlem Hospital. She is one of the few African American women in the field. She is also a member of the American Society of Nephrology, American Society of Hypertension, and International Society of Hypertension in Blacks.
Carolyn B. Britton, M.D.
Title: Associate attending, New York-Presbyterian Hospitals; associate professor of clinical neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
New York, NY
Note: Dr. Britton specializes in the neurological complications of viral/bacteria infections such as HIV and herpes. She was on New York magazine's "Best Doctors, 1996" list.
M. Deborah Hyde, M.D.
Westhills Hospital; Northridge Hospital
West Hills, California
Note: Dr. Hyde is one of seven African American women neurosurgeons in the country. In addition to running a private practice, she founded the Beacon of Hope Scholarship Foundation, which donates collegiate scholarships to underprivileged students in Mississippi and South Central Los Angeles.
Stanley M. Berry, M.D.
Title: Director, maternal-fetal medicine, associate professor, and vice chair of OB-GYN, Hutzel Hospital/Wayne State University.
Note: Dr. Berry is internationally known for his work on high-risk pregnancies and is a NIH principal investigator. He is also an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Paula Mahone, M.D.
Title: Medical director of perinatal services, Iowa Methodist Medical Center
Des Moines, Iowa
Note: She and her partner, Dr. Karen Drake, were the perinatologists who delivered the McCaughey septuplets--the first septuplets to all be delivered alive. She is currently president of the Iowa chapter of NMA, and a fellow of ACOG and the Society of Maternal and Fetal Medicine.
Alfred R. Ashford, M.D.
Title: Clinical director, department of medicine, chief, hematology-oncology section, and director, department of medicine, Harlem Hospital; associate physician, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
New York, NY
Note: Dr. Ashford is responsible for all the internal medical areas (clinics) at Harlem Hospital. He focuses on breast and prostate cancers, and is vice president of the hospital's medical board.
Lloyd Shabazz, M.D.
Title: Principal investigator and consultant, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Note: One of the few African Americans involved in clinical cancer research and patient care across a broad range of cancer specialties, specifically hematology (blood). Dr. Shabazz is also an expert in tumors (e.g., breast, colorectal, and lung), and hematologic (e.g., leukemia, lymphoma) cancers.
Alfred L. Goldson, M.D.
Title: Professor and chairman of radiation oncology, Howard University Hospital
Note: Dr. Goldson is the youngest person appointed as chair of a department in the history of the College of Medicine at Howard University. He pioneered research (in '75) using radioactive seed implants for prostate cancer, his use of electron beam intraoperative radiotherapy is now an important treatment procedure for many cancers.
Oscar E. Streeter Jr., M.D.
Title: Chief physician, department of radiation oncology, USC/Kenneth Norris Jr. Cancer Hospital
Los Angeles, CA
Note: Dr. Streeter is a physician, teacher, and researcher focusing on using medicine, math, computers, and physics to improve the technology and techniques to treat cancer. He works with an imaging software program and CT scans to create a simulated image of a patient's body.
Malvin T. Anders, M.D.
Title: Associate professor of ophthalmology, director of glaucoma service, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; and assistant clinical professor of ophthalmology, UCLA School of Medicine
Specialty: Ocular surgery
Hospital of the Good Samaritan, Los Angeles;
Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, CA
Los Angles, California
Note: Dr. Anders is a pioneer in glaucoma treatment in African Americans, and a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Ansel T. Johnson, O.D.
Private practice; founder, Vision Salon Mobile Eye Care Services
Blue Island, Illinois
Note: Dr. Johnson is a pioneer in eye care for home-bound disabled patients. He is one of the few doctors of optometry in the country working with closed-head-trauma and stroke victims using vision therapy and specialized optical correction. He also focuses on infant and pediatric eye care and vision-related learning disorders.
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D.
Title: Clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the Medical College of Pennsylvania-Hahnemann University School of Medicine; professor of chemical engineering at Drexel University
Elkins Park, PA
Specialty: Shoulder surgery, sports medicine
Note: Dr. Laurencin has dual degrees in biochemical engineering and biotechnology. He is a practitioner who focuses his research on the synthesis, design, and testing of biodegradable polymers in biomedical applications.
Claudia L. Thomas, M.D.
Title: Assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Note: Dr. Thomas is the first African American female orthopedic surgeon in the United States. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a member of AMA, NMA, and Association of Women Surgeons
OTOLARYNGOLOGY (EAR, NOSE & THROAT)
Anita L. Jackson, M.D.
Title: Private practice, president and CEO, Greater Carolina Ear, Nose and Throat
Southeastern Medical Center
Note: Dr. Jackson is the only African American woman to be a board certified otolaryngologist in North Carolina. She is one of about 35 black women in the specialty and one of the few with her own practice. The doctor performs all types of ear, nose, and throat services, including surgery3from pediatrics to head and neck cancer.
Ernest M. Myers, M.D.
Title: Private practice; professor and chief of otolaryngology, Howard University Hospital.
Specialty: Head and neck surgery
Note: Dr. Myers is a renowned surgeon and educator. He is past president of the NMA otolaryngology section and was named to the Howard University Alpha Omega Honorary Medical Fraternity. He also chairs the university's President's Advisory and Surgical Education Committees.
Beverly M. Gaines, M.D.
Title: Private practice; assistant clinical professor of pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Norton Hospital, Kosair Children's Hospital
Note: Dr. Gaines is vice president of the NMA. She is a widely respected pediatrician and advocate for health, especially children's health. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Kelvin J. Holloway, M.D.
Title: Medical director, Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital; vice president/deputy chief of staff for medical affairs, Grady Health System; associate clinical professor of pediatrics, Morehouse School of Medicine
Specialty: Research and treatment of allergy and asthma in children
Note: Dr. Holloway is the medical director for Grady's Children's Hospital. He is a diplomat of both the American Board of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the American Board of Pediatrics.
Lloyd B. Gayle, M.D.
Title: Chief of plastic surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospitals; associate professor of clinical surgery and director, plastic surgery resident education, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
New York, New York
Note: Dr. Gayle is a well respected surgeon specializing in plastics, especially hand and microsurgery. He works extensively with orthopedic trauma and also acts as primary surgery consultant on pediatrics plastic reconstructive surgery.
June Jackson Christmas, M.D.
Title: Private practice (semiretired); co-founder, Urban Issues Group; professor emeritus, behavioral science, CUNY Medical School
New York, NY
Note: Dr. Christmas is a pioneer in socio-psychiatric research. She heads a research organization, which conducts health-policy analysis research on blacks in New York. She also founded the Harlem Rehabilitation Center at Harlem Hospital.
Henry L. McCurtis, M.D.
Title: Acting director, department of psychiatry, Harlem Hospital; assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
New York, New York
Note: Dr. McCurtis was named a fellow in psychiatry by the American Psychiatric Association. He is also an examiner on the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and on the curriculum committee of the American Association of Directors of Residency Training.
Terrence M. Fullum, M.D.
Title: Director of laparoscopic surgery and vice chairman, department of surgery, Providence Hospital
Specialty: Laparoscopic surgery
Note: Dr. Fullum is an expert on laparoscopic surgery, (surgery done by laser via a small incision). He is certified by the American Board of Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the Society of American Gastro and Endoscopic Surgeons, and the American Society of General Surgeons.
Claude H. Organ Jr., M.D.
Title: Professor, department of surgery, University of California, Davis; chair, UC Davis-East Bay Surgical Residency Program
Note: Dr. Organ was the first African American to be chairman of the American Board of Surgery. He is internationally recognized, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Organ is the only African American to receive the American College of Surgeons' Distinguished Service Award and to be named editor of a surgical magazine.
F. Kennedy Gordon, M.D.
Title: Private practice; clinical instructor, department of adolescent medicine, University Hospital
Union, New Jersey
Note: Dr. Gordon is one of the few sports medicine specialists using acupuncture. He has worked at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. He is certified in internal medicine, sports medicine, and acupuncture.
Jenelle E. Foote, M.D.
Title: Private practice; clinical assistant professor, urology, department of surgery, Emory School of Medicine; assistant clinical professor, department of OB-GYN, Morehouse School of Medicine
Atlanta Medical Center
Specialty: Urological and sexual dysfunction in women
Note: She is currently on the FDA Genitourinary and GI Advisory Board, is chair of Urology at the NMA, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Urology.Lionel B.
Terry Mason, M.D.
Title: Private practice; chief of urology and medical director, Management Services Organization, Mercy Hospital Medical Center; assistant professor of surgery, University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine
Note: Dr. Mason is considered the "top doc" on urology. Currently, he is the regional chair of the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer.