PIONEER HALL

Pioneer Hall is a tribute to all HUMAA members who have broken barriers, chartered new paths, opened doors for others to follow, or received honors and recognition for their distinguished service. Join us as we applaud our renowned HUMAA members for their courageous endeavors.

While this list is just the beginning, we know so many of you and your classmates are also deserving Pioneers. Please share your personal stories of success and submit details of colleagues and classmates who are also worthy of recognition to info@humaa.org.

1860

1867
Charles Burleigh Purvis
Charles Burleigh Purvis – Co-founder of Howard University medical school. He is also the first black physician to attend to a sitting President (Garfield) after he was shot in 1881. He was the first black person to serve on the DC Board of Examiners and the second black instructor in an American Medical School.
1867
1869
Alexander Thomas Augusta
Alexander Thomas Augusta – was the first African American to serve on a medical school faculty in the United States. He was also the first person awarded an honorary degree by Howard University in 1869.
1869

1870

1877
Eunice Shadd
Eunice Shadd – graduated from Howard Medical in 1877 and was one of the first African American women in that class. She practiced medicine in Ohio along with her husband, Dr. Frank Lindsay, who also graduated from Howard medical school.
1877
1878
James Francis Shober
James Francis Shober – graduated from Howard University medical school in 1878. Practiced medicine in Wilmington, NC as the first licensed physician in the state.
1878

1880

1881
Alexander Darnes
Alexander Darnes – Born into slavery in St. Augustine, Florida, Dr. Darnes earned his medical degree from Howard University in 1880 after slaves were emancipated. Upon returning to Florida, he practiced medicine in Jacksonville where he was the first black physician in the city and second in the entire state.
1881

1890

1891
Daniel Hale Williams
Daniel Hale Williams – the first African American physician to perform open heart surgery. He founded Provident Hospital located in Chicago in 1891. He was appointed chief surgeon of Freedman’s hospital in 1895. He also co-founded the National Medical Association as an alternative to the American Medical Association, which did not allow members of color.
1891
1893
Sarah Garland Boyd Jones
Sarah Garland Boyd Jones – graduated from Howard University medical school in 1893. Shortly thereafter she became Virginia’s first African American woman to pass the Virginia Medical Examining Board exam. She practiced in Richmond, VA and even opened a small hospital with her husband who was also a physician.
1893

1900

1910

1914
Marie B. Lucas
Marie B. Lucas – Formerly a public-school teacher, Dr. Lucas had the distinction of being the only woman in her class to graduate from Howard University medical school in 1914 and was subsequently licensed to practice medicine in Washington, DC. She went on to work in pediatrics at Freedman’s Hospital, now known as Howard University Hospital and practiced for 20 years.
1914

1920

1924
Lena Frances Edwards
Lena Frances Edwards – Graduated from Howard University medical school in 1924 where she returned to teach obstetrics. In 1964, she was recognized by President Johnson and given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1924
1929
W. Montague Cobb
W. Montague Cobb – graduated from Howard Medical school in 1929. He accepted a faculty position from Howard University, which was offered prior to graduation. He went on to establish the W. Montague Cobb Skeletal Collection, which included he remains of over 930 adult and 40 infant skeletons and their associated mortuary records. He also became Howard University’s first distinguished professor in 1969 and became professor emeritus in 1973. Dr. Cobb was one of the most influential scholars in physical anatomy.
1929

1930

1930
N. Louise Young
N. Louise Young – Graduated from Howard University medical school in 1930 and became the first black woman licensed to practice medicine in Maryland. After initially specializing in pediatrics, she switched to gynecology and opened a Planned Parenthood clinic staffed entirely by African Americans in 1938. She retired after practicing medicine for 52 years.
1930

1940

1941
Ruth Lloyd
Ruth Lloyd – received her master’s degree in Zoology from Howard University in 1941 and joined the Howard University Medical school in 1942 where she taught physiology and anatomy. She became the first African American woman to earn a PhD in anatomy.
1941
1942
Ethelene Crockett
Ethelene Crockett – Attended Howard University medical school in 1942 while married with 3 children. After graduating, she was denied residency in Detroit because she was African American and a woman, so she completed her residency at Sydenham Hospital in New York. She went on to become Michigan’s first board certified OB/GYN and practiced for decades.
1942
1943
Charles Dewitt Watts
Charles Dewitt Watts – Graduated from Howard University medical school in 1943 while supporting his education by working for the post office in Washington, DC. After graduating, he completed surgical training in 1949 at Freeman’s Hospital, now known as Howard University hospital under the tutorship of Dr. Charles Drew. He went on to become the first African American board-certified surgeon in North Carolina.
1943
1949
Angella Ferguson
Angella Ferguson – graduated from Howard University Medical School in 1949. She completed her internship and residency at Freemans’ hospital and joined the faculty at Howard University in 1953 as an instructor in pediatrics. While collecting data to correlate children's height and weight with age, Ferguson noticed a high prevalence of sickle cell disease among the infants she treated in her practice. In her work she tracked the development of the disease in African American infants. Ferguson was one of the first researchers to dedicate her studies to sickle cell disease. Ferguson created guidelines for diagnosing sickle cell anemia in children under 12 using a blood test. The blood test she developed to detect the disease at birth became a standard test in forty U.S. states by 2010 and remains the standard in most states to this day.
1949

1950

1960

1970