I bet you thought that I was going to talk about Valentine’s Day, didn’t you? Well maybe later, but not in this post. Today, I want to introduce you to the first black surgeon who performed the first documented open heart (pericardium) surgery on a
Mr. Daniel Hale Williams
Mr. Williams is also getting double props on my blog because he is indeed from the city of wind. He opened up a practice on the south side of Chicago that would employ all black interns, nurses, and doctors. A hospital by the name of Provident, the first non-segregated hospital in the United States. He also founded an associated nursing school for African Americans.
In 1893, during the administration of President Grover Cleveland, Williams was appointed surgeon-in-chief of Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., a post he held until 1898. That year he married Alice Johnson, who was born in the city and graduated from Howard
Williams was a Professor of Clinical Surgery at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and was an attending surgeon at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He worked to create more hospitals that admitted African Americans. In 1895 he co-founded the National Medical Association for African American doctors, and in 1913 he became a charter member and the only African-American doctor in the American College of Surgeons.
I am sure that he was indeed a trailblazer for all black doctors that came after him, since he traveled around the country giving talks to other physicians.
Hopefully, you are enjoying our series on those from Black History who aren’t as highlighted in the media and books.