Many of us at Impact Urgent Care are history buffs, and because it’s Black History Month, we’d like to introduce you to a very important figure in the medical field. His name was Daniel Hale Williams and he founded Provident Hospital, the nation’s first interracial hospital, and performed the world’s first successful heart surgery.
After graduating from Chicago Medical College, Dr. Williams was unhappy with the lack of opportunity for African Americans in the medical field, so he decided to challenge the norm and began training black interns and the first black nurses in the United States.
His daring practices made him a pioneer. In 1893, he opened a patient’s thoracic cavity without the aid of blood transfusions or modern anesthetics and antibiotics, and successfully performed the first recorded repair of the pericardium.
When the American Medical Association refused to accept black members, Dr. Williams helped set up and served as Vice President of the National Medical Association. He was also the first African American surgeon to be admitted to the American College of Surgeons.
Not bad for a humble African American boy from Pennsylvania that began as a physician’s apprentice, huh? Dr. Williams’ story is one of many in the long history of struggle in the African American community, but one that stands out because of courage and determination.
Join us this month as we celebrate Black History Month and pay tribute to the achievements by African Americans and recognize their central role in U.S. history.