In celebration of Black History Month, here are some Black pioneers in medicine and science.
Dr. James McCune Smith was the first Black American to obtain a medical degree in the United States.
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first Black American woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams III was a cardiologist and one of the first physicians to perform heart surgery in the United States.
Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller was the first Black American psychiatrist in the United States.
Dr. Charles Drew was the first director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank.
Dr. Edith Irby Jones was the first woman elected president of the National Medical Association.
Dr. Joycelyn Elders was the first Black American and the second woman to be serve as the Surgeon General of the United States.
George Washington Carver was a botanist, inventor, and teacher.
Percy Julian was a research chemist and studied the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants.
Dr. Mae Carol Jemison is an engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut. She was the first Black American to travel to space.
Katherine Johnson is a mathematician whose work was recognized and featured in the movie Hidden Figures.
Gladys West is a mathematician and was the second black woman to employed by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and was inducted into the Air Force Hall of Fame.
Dr. Marie M. Daly was the first Black American woman to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States.
Dr. Edward Bouchet was the first Black American to earn a Ph.D. from any university in the United States. He taught at the Institute for Colored Youth for 26 years.
Annie Easley was a computer scientist, mathematician, and rocket scientist and worked for NASA as a “human calculator.”
Walter Lincoln Hawkins was a chemist, scientist, and inventor who invented the plastic coating for telephone wires making universal service possible.
Dr. Alexa Canady is a surgeon and education and is the first female Black American neurosurgeon in the United States.
Dr. Velma Scantlebury is the first Black female transplant surgeon in the United States. Listen to an interview with Dr. Scantlebury on The Journey Continues Podcast.
National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian). Celebrate black history month through the eyes of wellness. https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/initiatives/black-history-month. Access on January 31, 2022.
Public Broadcast Service website. Ten black scientists that science teachers should know about. https://www.pbs.org/education/blog/ten-black-scientists-that-science-teachers-should-know-about-and-free-resources. Access on January 31, 2022.