The Doctors Are In.
The doctors appearing on this list practice in a wide range of categories--asthma, cancer, cardiology, dermatology, HW-AIDS, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics-gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pediatrics, primary care, and urology, to name a few--and are located in various parts of the country. We turned to organizations such as the National Medical Association (NMA), the Association of Black Cardiologists, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for insight. We also contacted the nation's four African American medical institutions--Morehouse School of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, College of Medicine at Charles B. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and Meharry Medical College--for our selections. These institutions provided the editors with a listing of those physicians who they viewed as a cut above in service and reputation. Our approach in securing the names for our list was straightforward. The experts made the recommendations and had to support their choices, supplying us with the details of their candidates' experience, reputation, background, and training. All of the board-certified physicians chosen for inclusion on our list are leaders in their respective fields. We also developed a second list that features major contributors within the medical profession--doctors who are part-time practitioners, top-flight instructors, consulting physicians on complex medical procedures, or those who treat patients in emergency rooms. We close this special report with a sidebar on the presidents and deans of the nation's four historically black medical schools who have been responsible for the development of thousands of black physicians throughout the years.
Those physicians who did not meet our criteria and, as a result, were not included on either list are those who engage purely in medical research, no longer see patients, or are no longer connected with the medical profession.
Why is our list specifically composed of our nation's top black doctors? We believe that African American physicians have a special sensitivity to the needs of African Americans--and that's essential. Dr. Rodney G. Hood, outgoing president of the NMA, says that the cultural sensitivity that black doctors offer makes their patients more comfortable. In addition, "A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University suggested that many African American patients prefer a doctor who looks like them," Hood insists. "And a major part of the success of medical treatment is good patient-to-doctor relationships."
Alternatively, subtle and sometimes overt forms of racism largely impact the healthcare of African Americans. Hood cites the Shulman study, published in the February 25, 1999, edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, which explores the disparity in the treatment of African Americans. "The Shulman study looked at white and black patients with the same diagnosis--cardiovascular disease. The white patients were referred more often for more aggressive treatments than the blackpatients, especially black females," Hood explains.
We also hope that providing you with a list of physicians who look like you will inspire you to be more proactive in your healthcare. Aside from making obvious healthy choices, such as maintaining an exercise program, eliminating high salt and high fat foods from your diet, abstaining from tobacco and drug use, and limiting your use of alcohol, we also hope you'll change the way you think about your health. "Change that I'm-going-to-die-of-something-anyway attitude and stop continuing to do things that are detrimental to your health," advises Javette C. Orgain, a primary care physician.
Heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are the leading causes of death in African Americans, are illnesses that can all be better managed if sufferers act early in the treatment process. "A number of patients come in, don't receive treatment [early] even with a recommendation, and die at an early age." Orgain explains. "Sometimes these women have spouses and children."
So take care of yourself and you'll enjoy the fruits of your labor and the comfort of your family and friends for many years to come. For comprehensive coverage of healthcare issues, log on to www.blackenterprise.com.
Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr.
Title: Director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions; professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at JHMI.
For Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr., a defining moment of his life occurred when his fifth grade science teacher held up a mysterious black rock in front of the class and asked if anyone knew what it was. "Nobody knew--not the smart kids, nobody, except me," recalls the 49-year-old director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore. "Because I had recently read a geology book, I recognized that it was obsidian [a dark glass formed when molten lava cools], and I explained to the class what it was and where it came from." His classmates in the predominantly white Detroit elementary school were flabbergasted.
"Within a year and a half, I went from being the dummy in the class to the top of the class," says Carson, whose newfound confidence in pursuing academic excellence would serve him well. He received degrees from Yale University and the University of Michigan School of Medicine, and finally landed a residency at Johns Hopkins in 1977. His experiences there, however, were not without their challenges.
"Every time I would go on the wards, they would mistake me for an orderly because I had my scrubs on," explains Carson, who is also professor of pediatrics, oncology, neurosurgery, and plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins. "I didn't take offense and would be very nice about it, and they would be so embarrassed, they would do anything for me after that," he says wryly.
Carson's keen hand-eye coordination and ability to envision objects in three dimensions enabled him to perfect his surgical skills. In 1984, at the tender age of 33, the rising star became the director of pediatric neurosurgery. Two of his most celebrated cases occurred in Germany in 1987 and South Africa in 1997, when Carson led a team of surgeons who oil 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 with his wife, Candy, who is an accomplished musician.
Richard O. Butcher, M.D.
President of Multicultural Primary Care Medical Group; chairman, CompCareHealth Plan; assistant clinical instructor at University of California at San Diego Medical School
Contact: 619-263-6101 San Diego, CA Paradise Valley Hospital
Note: President of one of the largest medical groups in San Diego, he is considered an excellent hands-on doctor by other physicians.
John McAdory, M.D.
President, First-Med Primary Care Associates, P.A.
Contact: 305-253-2665 Miami, FL Baptist Hospital; Deering Hospital
Note: He has one of the largest primary care family medicine practices in. Miami, is on the board of Trustees of the National Medical Association Inc., and is a member of the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks.
Javette C. Orgain, M.D. Assistant professor of clinical family medicine at University of Illinois College of Medicine
Contact: 312-996-4563 Chicago, IL 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.
Henry W. Williams Jr., M.D.
Assistant medical director, Washington Center for Aging Services; interim chairman, department of community health and family practice, Howard University College of Medicine
Contact: 202-806-6300 Washington. D.C. Howard University Hospital
Note: A diplomate 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.
Dr. Shearwood J. McClelland
Title: Director, department of orthopedic surgery, Harlem Hospital; associate professor of clinical orthopedic surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Dr. Shearwood J. McClelland, 52, has spent the past 18 years working as an orthopedic surgeon at Harlem Hospital Center. He has a lot of respect for the nurses who help him do his job and that are, all too often, underappreciated.
"I hadn't planned to stay here as long as I have, but the longer I stay, the [more the] mission of this hospital rubs off on me," McClelland says. "Harlem is one of the few hospitals that states up front that its primary mission is to provide quality care for everyone regardless of their ability to pay. Most hospitals don't want to put that kind of commitment in writing. That's one of the nicer things about this hospital, We don't make decisions on the quality of care based on ability to pay,"
McClelland uses his quiet confidence to comfort patients who have often experienced some sort of trauma or are the victims of violent crimes. He credits his confidence to his years of experience and credentials. He received his doctorate in medicine and his master's in public health from Columbia University. He did his internship in general surgery at St. Luke's Hospital Center and served a residency in orthopedics at the New York Orthopedic Hospital. He also served as staff orthopedic surgeon in the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland,
"I think we need to stress to all young African Americans. no matter what field they go into, that they need to get all the training and credentials they can, especially in this era of anti-affirmative action sentiment. You want to make sure you have as many credentials as anybody of any race that does what you do," says McClelland who is the first person in his family to get a college degree.
"One of the things we try to do in orthopedics is restore people's functional independence. There is quite a bit of psychiatry woven into the management of patients with musculoskeletal injuries and disabilities," McClelland says Another obstacle in medicine is having a healthy life-work balance McClelland. who is married to Dr Yvonne Thornton is most proud of having a ful life outside of medicine.
-- Candace Waller
Jean G. Ford, M.D. Chief, pulmonary and critical care medicine at Harlem Hospital Center; director, the Harlem Lung Center; Florence Irving assistant professor of medicine, Columbia University.
Contact: 212-939-1459 New York, NY
Note: As director of the Lung Institute at Harlem Hospital, his efforts have resulted in a positive net affect on the incidence of asthma and tuberculosis in central Manhattan. Dr. Ford was also the Manhattan Central Medical Society Outstanding Physician of the Year in 1998.
Michael A. LeNoir, M.D.
COO and medical direct, or, Bay Area Multi-Cultural Clinical Research and Education Center; chief of allergy services. San Francisco General Hospital
Contact: 510-834-4897 Oakland, CA
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.
Keith C. Ferdinand, M.D.
Clinical cardiologist; associate professor clinical pharmacology, Xavier University College of Pharmacy
Contact: 504-943-1177 New Orleans, LA
Note: Former president and first African American president of the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners, he is also principal: investigator, with Healthy Heart Community Prevention Project, a nationally recognized community-based screening program targeted at African Americans.
Winston H. Gandy Jr., M.D. Private practice; director, cardiac laboratory, The Atlanta Cardiology Group
Contact: 404-851-5400 St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta; West Paces Ferry Hospital; Dunwoody Medical Center; Northlake Regional Medical Center
Specialty: Invasive cardiology using echocardiogram
Note: He is the first African American to practice in this area of medicine in Atlanta.
L. Julian Haywood, M.D.
Director of electrocardiography unit, L.A. County/ USC Medical Center; and professor of medicine, USC School of Medicine,
Contact: 323-226-7116 Los Angeles, CA
Note: One of the first African American full professors in cardiology at a majority medical school. Co-developed (with Hewlett-Packard) real-time computer-based digital monitoring systems for arrhythmia detection. Developed the first coronary care unit as a National Institutes of Health pilot project in L.A. County Hospital.
G. Mark Jenkins, M.D.
Private practice, North Texas Cardiovascular Associates
Contact: 214-946-8856 Dallas, TX Methodist Medical Center
Note: Dr. Jenkins developed a biodegradable drug system that inserts into the heart to prevent re-blockage of heart arteries. This procedure is now the subject of European clinical trials. He is also a cardiology fellow at Emory and interventional fellow at Johns Hopkins.
Elijah Saunders, M.D.
Head of hypertension, division of cardiology, University of Maryland Medical Center: professor of medicine, cardiology and hypertension, UM School of Medicine
Contact: 410-328-4366 Baltimore, MD
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.
Anne L. Taylor, M.D.
Professor of medicine and associate dean of faculty affairs, University of Minnesota School of Medicine
Contact: 612-626-2183 Minneapolis, MN Fairview University Hospital.
Note: Dr. Taylor is a former vice chair of women's health programs and associate professor of Internal Medicine/Cardiology, Case Western Reserve, and was chief of cardiology at Cleveland VA Medical Center. A principal investigator for NIH, VA, and the Department of Education.
Hannah Valantine-von Kaeppler, M.D.
Professor of medicine, division of cardiovascular medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
Contact: 650-723-2665 Stanford, CA
Specialty: Heart transplant surgery, echocardiography
Note: Dr. Valantine-von Kaeppler is co-director of the Post-transplant Cardiac Transplant service: a cardiology consultant for the Liver, Kidney, and Pancreas Transplant Service (for diabetic patients); and the director of the Post-Transplant Clinical Research Program.
Levi Watkins Jr., M.D.
Associate dean and professor of cardiac surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Contact: 410-955-8502 Baltimore, MD
Note: Dr. Watkins is the first African American at Johns Hopkins to assume the roles he currently holds, in addition to being the first African American chief resident in cardiac surgery. At Harvard, he helped define the role of renin-angiotensin during congestive heart failure. In 1980 he performed the first human implant of a defibrillator.
Dr. Keith Black
Title: Director of neurosurgery at the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; professor, department of neurological surgery at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center
Dr. Keith Black recalls meeting with the chief of neurosurgery of the University of Michigan's medical program when he was a student.
"I want to be a neurosurgeon," Black told the chief.
"Well," he recalls the chief saying slowly, "who are your parents? You have to be really smart to be a neurosurgeon."
And while the chief didn't think Black had the ability to be a doctor, a young Black always knew the dream was within his reach. At 8 years of age, he tried to dissect a frog, and when his father found out, he tried to encourage him by giving him the hearts of a chicken and a cow. Two years later, the family moved from his native Auburn, Alabama, to Cleveland, where Black's interest in medicine continued unabated.
As a sophomore at Shaker Heights Senior High School, Black worked in a medical research laboratory. When he turned 17, a physician who was a family friend introduced him to a heart surgeon who had developed an artificial heart valve. It was during that apprenticeship that Black was given the opportunity to do a number of surgeries on animal hearts. And Keith Black learned a lot about surgery then; through research, he discovered that red blood cells change shape when a patient is undergoing surgery.
He considers operating on the brain to be sacred territory. "You can't do a lot and move the brain without having adverse consequences," he explains. "I describe performing surgery this way: We try to be like a thief in the night and go into the brain without waking it up."
Most of his work is with tumors, and he continues to advance in the field of medicine. He and his team developed a vaccine that can be used to treat tumors that are too complicated to remove. They are also working on a device that uses microwaves to destroy tumors. A needlelike object is inserted through the skin and transmits a microwave that heats up the water in the tumor to dissolve it.
"I want to replace the need to do surgery," he says.
Karol E. Watson, M.D.
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
Contact: 310-825-8811 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.
Richard A. Williams, M.D.
Clinical professor of medicine. UCLA School of Medicine; CEO and president, Minority Health Institute
Contact: 818-907-6750 Inglewood, CA
Note: In addition to co-founding and being a former president of the Association of Black Cardiologists, Dr. Williams also founded the Minority Health Institute. He is the author of The Textbook of Black-Belated Diseases (McGraw-Hill; 1975) that details illnesses specific to African Americans.
Clyde W. Yancy, M.D.
Medical director, Heart Transplant program and Cardiovascular Institute. St. Paul Medical Center; and associate professor of medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Contact: 214-648-2444 Dallas, TX
Note: A diplomate in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, Dr. Yancy focuses on heart transplants and research on the causes of congestive heart failure. The patients in St. Paul's program have a 90% one-year, postoperative survival rate.
Eric L. Carter, M.D.
Assistant clinical professor of dermatology. Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Contact: 212-305-5293 New York. NY New York-Presbyterian Hospitals
Note: A diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine, and American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Carter focuses on research and treatment of skin illnesses including hyperpigmentation, vitiligo, and skin cancer.
William J. Coffey Jr., M.D.
Contact: 323-295-0644 Los Angeles, CA
Note: Dr. Coffey was the first African American resident admitted to the University of California's College of Medicine in San Francisco, where he helped create the "tissue culture" that set the precedent for techniques used today by scientists and doctors to grow living cells. He also established the dermatology program at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in Los Angeles. He works in private practice.
R. Martin Earles, M.D.
Contact: 312-225-7200 Chicago, IL
Note: Known for work on hair transplantation, especially with African American women, and skin surgery, Dr. Earles developed and patented a product for the treatment of dandruff (as well as eczema and ring worm) in African Americans.
A. Paul Kelly, M.D.
Chair, division of dermatology, King/Drew Medical Center; professor of medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Contact: 310-668-4571 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.
Rachelle A. Scott, M.D.
Associate professor of clinical dermatology, and of dermatology in pediatrics, department of dermatology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Contact: 212-746-2007 New York, NY
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).
Robert L. Collins, M.D.
Director, section of reproductive endocrinology, and associate residency director, OB-GYN department, St. Elizabeth Medical Center
Contact: 330-965-8390 Youngstown, OH
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.
Professor and director of medical studies, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine
Contact: 203-785-3581 New Haven, CT
Specialty: Reproductive endocrinology
Note: Recognized as an expert on intertility 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.
Director, OASIS Clinic and AIDS Program. King/Drew Medical Center: director, Drew Center for AIDS Research
Contact: 310-668-8218 Los Angeles, CA
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.
Medical director, AIDS Center at North General Hospital, and assistant professor of medicine. Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Contact: 212-423-4608 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.
Medical director, Universal Healthplan of Texas; clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Contact: 713-529-3145 Houston, Texas Methodist Hospital
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.
Carl McDougall, M.D.
Gastroenterologist, Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine; associate professor of clinical medicine, New York Weill Cornell Medical Center
Contact: 212-746-4437 New York. NY
Note: A noted physician and endoscopist, Dr. McDougall focuses on colon cancer prevention and research. He also concentrates on liver and ulcer diseases, colitis and Crohn's disease.
Dr. Sandral Hullett
Title: CEO, Cooper Green Hospital
Specialty: Family medicine
Dr. Sandral Hullett
Dr. Sandral Hullett is a physician who has always been involved in community service. The oldest of three siblings, Hullett is from the working-class side of Birmingham, Alabama, a place known as the Northside, where most of the residents work in a nearby steel mill. Her parents were lifelong supporters of black professionals within the community. The family visited black doctors and dentists, bought items and supplies from black stores, ate at black restaurants, and supported black leaders. And that was important to a young Sandral Hullett because it gave her the opportunity to see black role models in important positions.
Hullett earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Alabama A&M University, her medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and her master's in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
"When I got to college. I worked for a black woman biochemist as my first work-study job," says Hullett. "She believed in allowing a young person who worked with her to be a co-author on her papers. It was while working for her that I decided to do cancer research. I went to work for Pfizer to do research. Then I went to Columbia University to do research on DNA/RNA replication, but the doctor on the project said that even though I did a lot of work on the paper [he was working on], no one with only a B.S. could sign on any papers from Columbia."
At that moment, Hullett decided to go to medical school. She knew that a doctor rooted in and concerned with the community was needed in rural towns and small areas across the country. "When I had to choose an area [to work in], I wanted to be where there was a need [for me], there was an academic institution nearby, a 20-bed hospital for me to keep up my skills, and a four-lane highway so I had the illusion of going somewhere. I had the best of all worlds."
Neil R. Powe, M.D.
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.
William I. Young, M.D.
Private practice; assistant clinical professor, UCLA School of Medicine,
Contact: 310-652-5382 Los Angeles. CA Midway Hospital; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Note: A member of the AMA, NMA, and American College of Physicians, Dr. Young is a pulmonologist whose research concentrates on sickle cell and lupus. He is a diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Board of Internal Medicine.
Velvie A. Pogue, M.D.
Chief, division of nephrology, and associate attending, Harlem Hospital; assistant professor of clinical medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
Contact: 212-939-1745 New York, NY
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.
Chamberlain I. Obialo, M.D.
Director of the dialysis unit, chief of nephrology, and associate professor of medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine
Contact: 404-756-1320 Atlanta, GA Grady Hospital
Note: Dr. Obialo heads the kidney and dialysis unit at Morehouse. Primarily a researcher, he is also a teacher.
Carolyn B. Britton, M.D.
Associate attending, New York-Presbyterian Hospitals; associate professor of clinical neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Contact: 212-305-5220 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.
Contact: 818-716-7003 West Hills, CA Westhills Hospital: Northridge Hospital
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.
Edgar J. Kenton III, M.D.
Private practice; director, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; chief of cerebrovascular diseases at Main Line Health Systems Hospitals
Contact: 610-642-3668 Wynnewood, PA
Note: Dr. Kenton did pioneering work on strokes and their neurological impact. He is also a professor of clinical neurology at Thomas Jefferson University Medical College.
Richard Payne, M.D.
Chief, pain and palliative care service, department of neurology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Contact: 800-525-2225 New York, NY
Note: Known for his work on pain management and the role of prescription drugs to alleviate pain, Dr. Pa]me is also the former research fellow in neuro-oncology at Sloan-Kettering and the former associate director of WHO Collaborating Center for Supportive Care, University of Texas.
Stanley M. Berry, M.D.
Director, maternal-fetal medicine, associate professor, and vice chair of OB-GYN, Hutzel Hospital/Wayne State University.
Contact: 313-745-0499 Detroit, MI
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.
Dr. Elizabeth O. Ofili
Title: President of American Association of Black Cardiologists
Young girls growing up in Ebu, Nigeria, are rarely encouraged to continue their educations beyond high school or pursue careers that will keep them away from home and family. But life for young Elizabeth O. Ofili was quite nonconforming. "I would not be where I am without the support of my parents, Felicia and Gregory Ofili, who encouraged me and taught me that I could be anything that I wanted to be," says Ofili, who holds a doctorate in medicine, a master's in public health, and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (F.A.C.C.).
What Dr. Ofili has come to be is an internationally renowned cardiologist who is an expert in the field of echocardiography. She helped to create and validate an innovative means of analyzing the intracoronary Doppler spectral wave form, which is observed in patients with coronary artery disease. Ofili is a professor of medicine, the chief of cardiology, and the director of the Clinical Research Center of the Morehouse School of Medicine.
"Cardiology is one of those specialties in medicine where things happen fast. When there is an emergency, you have to think fast in order to make a difference in someone's life. I think that is what attracted me to this field," says Ofili, 45. "It is always satisfying to be able to do research that impacts how patients are treated."
President of the National Association of Black Cardiologists based in Atlanta. Ofili has published more than 100 scientific papers, book chapters, and abstracts.
As one of the very few African American doctors to go into research, Ofili encourages black doctors in private practice, as well as medical students, to consider going into research. "Research gives you the opportunity to be at the forefront and to introduce your patients to the cutting edge of medicine," says Ofili.
--Leslie E. Royal
John G. Boyce, M.D.
Chairman and distinguished service professor, department of OB-GYN, State University of NY Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn
Contact: 718-270-2081 Kings County Hospital; State University Hospital
Specialty: Gynecologic oncology
Note: Known internationally for his expertise, with special emphasis in epidemiology (cellular history) of gynecologic malignancy. He was listed as one of New York magazine's "Best Doctors, 1996."
Hilda Y. Hutcherson, M.D.
Assistant attending physician, New York-Presbyterian Hospitals; assistant professor of OB-GYN, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Contact: 212-174-540 New York, NY
Note: Fellow, American College of Obstetricians Gynecologists, and associate member, American Fertility Society, she was former director of pediatric and adolescent gynecology and former co-director of Center for Women's Health at Columbia.
Carol L. Brown, M.D.
Assisting attending surgeon, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and assistant professor of OB-GYN, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Contact: 212-639-7659 New York, NY
Note: Dr. Brown is focused on cervical and ovarian cancers and novel treatment strategies for screening and prevention, especially in high-risk groups. She chairs the New York State Department of Health Ovarian Cancer Information Program Advisory Council.
Michael K. Lindsay, M.D.
Director, division of maternal-fetal medicine, and Luella Klein associate professor, Emory University School of Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital
Contact: 404-616-3540 Atlanta, GA
Specialty: Maternal-fetal medicine
Note: Dr. Lindsay is known for his work in perinatal epidemiology with an emphasis on pregnancy outcome of substance abusers and maternal/perinatal HIV infection.
Haywood L. Brown, M.D.
Residency program director, department of OB-GYN, St. Vincent's Hospital and Health Services; clinical professor of OB-GYN, Indiana University School of Medicine
Contact: 317-338-3767 Indianapolis, IN
Specialty: High-risk pregnancy
Note: Dr. Brown is the former director of high-risk obstetrics at Wishard Memorial Hospital and co-medical director of the Indianapolis Healthy Babies Project.
Paula Mahone, M.D.
Medical director of perinatal services, Iowa Methodist Medical Center
Contact: 515-241-8383 Des Moines, IA
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.
Washington C. Hill, M.D. Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Perinatal Center of Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Contact: 941-917-6262 Sarasota. FL
Special: High-risk pregnancy
Note: Dr. Hill developed the maternal-fetal medicine program at Sarasota and is an American Board of OB-GYN diplomate in maternal-fetal medicine and examiner. He is also an FDA consultant.
Veronica T. Mallett, M.D.
Director, urogynecology. and program director, OB-GYN education, Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center
Contact: 313-593-7819 Dearborn, MI
Note: An expert in pelvic reconstructive surgery, Dr. Mallett is one of the few physicians to perform the "Tension-Free Vaginal Sling" procedure, which treats incontinence on an outpatient basis.
Joseph K. Hurd, M.D.
Contact: 781-744-8495 Wellesley Hills, MA. Lahey Clinic Medical Center
Note: Renowned for work in clinical gynecology and gynecologic surgery, Dr. Hurd has done major research on breast and cervical cancer screening, mechanisms of pelvic support, and reconstructive pelvic surgery. He chaired the department of gynecology, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, from 1988 to 2000.
E. Albert Reece, M.D.
Abraham Roth professor and chair of the department of OB-GYN and reproductive sciences at Temple University School of Medicine
Contact: 215-707-3002 Philadelphia, PA
Specialty: Maternal-fetal medicine
Note: Dr. Reece is highly respected in the field of high-risk pregnancy. He is known for his research of diabetes and pregnancy, and fetal diagnosis and treatment in utero. He has published more than 400 articles and nine textbooks on pregnancy.
Alfred R. Ashford, M.D.
Clinical director, department of medicine, chief, hematology-oncology section, and director, department of medicine, Harlem Hospital; associate physician, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
Contact: 212-939-1401 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.
Principal investigator and consultant, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Contact: 757-396-6333 Portsmouth, VA OBCI Hospital; Maryview Hospital
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.
Professor and chairman of radiation oncology, Howard University Hospital
Cootact: 202-865-6100 Washington, D.C.
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.
Chief physician, department of radiation oncology, USC/Kenneth Norris Jr. Cancer Hospital
Contact: 323-865-3084 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.
Dr Yvonne Thornton
Title: Senior perinatologist, St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital
The career of obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Yvonne Thornton, a perinatal attending physician at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, has been on the rise since she became the first black woman board certified in special competency in maternal-fetal medicine in 1981. Over the years she has excelled in her field, achieving numerous awards and accolades.
However, her road to success was not easy. The challenges surrounding the Thornton sisters' struggle to obtain higher education were detailed in the physician's Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, The Ditchdigger's Daughters: A Black Family's Astounding Success Story (Plume, $12.95), which was also made into a movie. The sisters performed at various colleges every weekend for 13 years as a musical group called the Thornton Sisters so they could pay for school. Even with this grueling work schedule, they were expected to excel in their studies.
"Obstacles are always going to be there," Thornton says. "Each of us has to overcome something. Fifty years ago there were no role models when I was working on my dream to become a doctor. It was a constant struggle. My parents were my role models."
Thornton, who has delivered more than 5,000 babies and is board certified in obstetrics, gynecology, and maternal-fetal medicine, admits to experiencing gender and racial bias. "Sometimes, when people see me in my white coat, they think I'm a housekeeper. My skin color speaks louder than the name tags I wear," Thornton recalls. The field is very white-male dominated; there aren't many blacks and very few women that work in maternal-fetal medicine. When a pregnancy has a severe complication and is beyond the expertise of the patient's regular obstetrician, Thornton comes to the rescue. "When I enter the room. the husband looks at me (with uncertainty, because he initially assumes I don't have the qualifications). But once the patient is out of trouble, 100% of the time the husband says. `Thank you, Dr. Thornton.' You have to change people one at a time. That gentleman will think twice [now] before assuming when he sees a person of color."
Malvin T. Anders, M.D.
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
Contact: 213-977-1184 Los Angles, CA Hospital of the Good Samaritan, Los Angeles; Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, CA
Specialty: Ocular surgery
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
Contact: 708-385-0013 Blue Island, IL
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.
Clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the Medical College of Pennsylvania-Hahnemann University School of Medicine; professor of chemical engineering at Drexel University
Contact: 215-895-6210 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.
Michael L. Parks, M.D.
Assistant attending orthopedic surgeon, New York-Presbyterian Hospitals; assistant professor of orthopedic surgery. Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Contact: 212-305-0403 New York, NY
Specialty: Bone degeneration, joints
Note: Dr. Parks is on the council of the Faculty of Medicine at Columbia. His focus is on bone degeneration due to osteoarthritis in the elderly, and knee and joint fusion or replacement.
Claudia L. Thomas, M.D.
Assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Contact: 410-955-2617 Baltimore. MD
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
Lytton Ade-Kunle Williams, M.D.
Assistant director of spinal fellowships, USC Center for Orthopedic Spinal Surgery; assistant professor of clinical orthopedics, USC School of Medicine
Contact: 323-442-5319 Los Angeles, CA
Note: Dr. Williams specializes in treating complex deformities, cervical, thoracic, and lumbar fractures, revision spine surgery, scoliosis, and spine tumors and infections. He co-founded the Orthopedic Center at USC, and holds a patent for an intervertebral implant device.
OTOLARYNGOLOGY (EAR, NOSE & THROAT)
Anita L. Jackson, M.D.
Private practice, president and CEO, Greater Carolina Ear, Nose and Throat
Contact: 910-738-1919 Lumberton, NC 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 surgery-from pediatrics to head and neck cancer.
ERNEST M. MYERS, M.D.
Private practice; professor and chief of otolaryngology, Howard University Hospital.
Contact: 202-865-1431 Washington, D.C.
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.
Kathi A. Earles, M.D.
Assistant clinical professor of pediatrics and associate director of community pediatrics residency program, Morehouse School of Medicine
Contact: 404-756-1330 Atlanta, GA
Note: Dr. Earles coordinates the training of pediatric residents at Morehouse School of Medicine and has been recognized for her work with underserved populations. She is board certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Beverly M. Gaines, M.D.
Private practice; assistant clinical professor of pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Contact: 502-585-2924 Louisville, KY 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.
Dr. Lawrence S. Brown Jr.
Title: Senior vice president of medical services, Urban Resources Institute and Addiction Research and Treatment Corp. (ARTC), Brooklyn, New York; and clinical associate professor of public health, department of public health, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Specialty: Infectious diseases
As a child, Dr. Lawrence Brown Jr. remembers sitting beside his grandmother, who suffered from chronic diabetes and congestive heart failure, vowing, "Grandma, I'm going to take care of you when I grow up."
Seeing his grandmother suffer and watching many of his friends fall victim to drug and alcohol abuse on the tough streets of Brownsville in Brooklyn. New York, helped forge his commitment to becoming a doctor. Today he operates a nonprofit agency in Brooklyn, New York, with an annual budget of $15 million. The research he has conducted at the agency, which services about 3,000 HIV-infected and substance-abuse patients, includes studying substance abuse and its complications, as well as conducting biomedical trials and clinical trials of drugs sponsored by the federal government and pharmaceutical companies. "Our contribution has been mostly in understanding the factors associated with acquiring the HIV infection and disease progression," says Brown.
He joined Harlem Hospital in 1979 as a doctor of neural endocrinology--the study of hormones that interact with the neurological system. In 1983, he began to split his time between Harlem Hospital and ARTC, and two years after that, he became ARTC's vice president of medical services.
In his current role, the 50-year-old self-described "data man" has become a trusted advisor to leading organizations. He serves on the Drug Abuse Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration, the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
"For me, the bottom line is to improve the overall quality of healthcare," says Brown. "Substance abuse and dependence are diseases."
--Matthew S. Scott
Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. & Dr. Clive O. Callender
Title: Dr. Leffall: Charles R. Drew professor of surgery, Howard University Hospital
Title: Dr. Callender: chair, department of surgery, and director, Howard University Hospital Transplant Center
Contact: 202-865-6237; 202-865-1441
LaSalle D. Leffall Jr., 71, and Clive O. Callender, 64, two of the nation's most renowned surgeons, must challenge death every day. Each has spent most of his professional life in practice at Howard University Hospital (HUH) in Washington, D.C., where Leffall specializes in cancer and Callender focuses on organ transplantation. They serve a socioeconomically diverse community, so they know firsthand that disease and terminal illness don't discriminate based on income.
Each man chose surgery because it is usually "rapidly rewarding," the phrase Callender uses to describe the immediate gratification a successful operation provides. As a medical student, Leffall also noticed that surgeons are the ones who get things done.
"General surgery was challenging but transplantation was relatively new in 1973 and I was intrigued by it," says Callender, who participated in early liver and kidney transplants. In 1973, he came to Howard to develop a foundation that encourages minorities to donate organs and save lives.
Leffall, a cancer specialist, is perhaps the nation's best known black surgeon, but he has devoted most of his career to research and caring for cancer patients as well as teaching. He was recently elected chairman of the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. As president of the American Cancer Society in the late '70s, he launched a program to study cancer among African Americans that emphasized decreasing both the occurrence of the disease and its mortality rates. He has taught thousands of medical students and trained close to 250 to 275 surgical residents. In 1996, Howard University's College of Medicine established an endowed chair in Leffall's name. Callender was the first person invited to be a Leffall professor. Teaching, Leffall says, enables him to stretch the imaginations and expand the aspirations of others. "I hope my greatest contributions are being a good teacher and a surgical oncologist who provides his patients with the best care."
Kelvin J. Holloway, M.D.
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
Contact: 404-616-7101 Atlanta, GA
Specially: 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 diplomate of both the American Board of Allergy. Asthma, and Immunology, and the American Board of Pediatrics.
Kevin D. Mason, M.D.
Medical director, Atlanta public schools; clinical associate professor of pediatrics, and director of ambulatory pediatrics, Morehouse School of Medicine
Contact: 404-756-1330 Atlanta, GA Egleston Children's Hospital
Note: Dr. Mason also serves as director of pediatric practice for Morehouse and at the Pediatric Clinic for Hughes Spaulding Children's Hospital/Grady Health System. He also serves as attending physician on rotation for third-year medical students and Emory interns.
David G. Nichols, M.D.
Director, pediatric anesthesia and critical care, Johns Hopkins Hospital; vice dean of education, professor of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, and pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Contact: 410-955-8401 Baltimore, MD
Specially: Pediatric anesthesiology
Note: Dr. Nichols is the former chairman of the pediatric critical care subboard of the American Board of Pediatrics. He is an American Academy of Pediatrics fellow, and a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.
Beverly J. Sheares, M.D.
Assistant professor of children's pediatrics at New York Presbyterian Hospital; assistant professor of pediatrics, division of pediatric pulmonary medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Contact: 212-305-5122 New York, NY
Specialty: Pediatric asthma and pulmonology
Note: Dr. Sheares is a physician, teacher, and researcher. She received the Minority Investigators award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Lloyd B. Gayle, M.D.
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
Contact: 212-452-5121 New York, NY
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.
Dr. Alexa Canady
Title: Chief of neurosurgery and Peter Schotanus professor in pediatric neurosurgery at Children's Hospital at Wayne State University; interim chairman of neurosurgery at Wayne State University
Contact: 313-833-4490 Detroit, MI
Specialty: Pediatric neurosurgery Children's Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University Children's Hospital
Every morning, Dr. Alexa Canady leaves her home around dawn to get a head start on her day. She spends four days a week in the operating room, where she doesn't leave until 7:30 or 8 at night. With these hours, it's hard to see how Canady can enjoy her work but she does.
No one would describe performing neurosurgery on a child as fun, but it's an attitude she maintains to deal with her very young patients. For the past 18 years, Canady has been the chief of neurosurgery and the Peter Schotanus endowed professor in pediatric neurosurgery at Children's Hospital in Michigan. In fact, she once resigned from the Henry Ford Hospital after a year's service because there weren't enough pediatric cases.
"Children are easy to manage," Canady explains. "They usually don't know how sick they are, so they aren't as terrified as their parents. I also don't find working with the parents tough either, because one of the fun things I do is help them to grow to the circumstances. I help parents learn how to be effective, caring providers. I like it when parents learn how to manage ventilators, trachs, and such. In many ways, medicine is a spiritual and emotional thing. I like that we are a part of people's families."
Canady, 51, is a native of Lansing, Michigan, and the second oldest of three siblings. She was only 16 years old when she enrolled at the University of Michigan, and although she had every intention of being a mathematician, three years later she discovered she had a stronger interest in medicine.
And that's when her life as a champion of children started. She earned both her bachelor of science and doctor of medicine degrees from that school. She served her surgical internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, her residency in neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, and her pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In May 1984. when she was certified by the Board of Neurological Surgery, she became the first black female neurosurgeon in the United States.
June Jackson Christmas, M.D.
Private practice (semi-retired); co-founder, Urban Issues Group; professor emeritus, behavioral science, CUNY Medical School
Contact: 212-927-5220 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.
Acting director, department of psychiatry, Harlem Hospital; assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
Contact: 212-939-3060 New York, NY
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.
Edward E. Cornwell III, M.D.
Associate professor of surgery and of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, and director of adult trauma service, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Contact: 410-955-2244 Baltimore, MD
Specialty: The treatment and prevention of traumatic injuries.
Note: Dr. Cornwell focuses on violence prevention and outreach too at-risk youth. He is a fellow of the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery and Critical Care.
Kenneth A. Forde, M.D.
Attending surgeon and vice chair, external affairs, department of surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospitals; Jose M. Ferrer professor of clinical surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Contact: 212-305-5394 New York, NY
Note: Considered an expert on colonoscopy and colorectal surgery, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board on Colorectal Cancer for the American Digestive Health Foundation. He appeared on The Today Show and did a segment on colonoscopy.
Terrence M. Fullum, M.D.
Director of laparoscopic surgery and vice chairman, department of surgery, Providence Hospital
Contact: 202-529-6801 Washington, D.C.
Specialty: Laparoscopic surgery
Note: Dr. Fullum is an expert on laparoscopic surgery, (surgery done by laser via a small recision). 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.
Professor, department of surgery, University of California, Davis: chair, UC Davis-East Bay Surgical Residency Program
Contact: 510-437-4091 Oakland, CA
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.
Bert Petersen Jr., M.D.
Attending surgeon, Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospitals; director, Family Risk Program at Beth Israel Cancer Center
Contact: 212-844-8955 New York, NY
Specialty: Breast disease
Note: Dr. Petersen is also assistant professor of surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Known for his community outreach, he is on the board of Cancer Care, and is medical director for the Young Survival Coalition and Avon Breast Cancer Walk.
Miguel S. West, M.D. Chief of kidney transplantation, and associate director of Howard Hospital Transplant Center, assistant professor of surgery, Howard University School of Medicine
Contact: 202-865-1659 Washington, D.C.
Note: Dr. West is board certified in surgery and a member of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association, AMA, NMA, the American Society of Transplantation, and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
F. Kennedy Gordon, M.D. Private practice; clinical instructor, department of adolescent medicine, University Hospital
Contact: 908-688-2424 Union, NJ
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.
James K. Bennett, M.D.
Associate medical director, Crawford Long Hospital of Emory University; clinical associate professor, urology, department of surgery, Emory School of Medicine; clinical instructor, surgery, Morehouse School of Medicine
Contact: 404-881-0966 Atlanta GA
Note: Dr. Bennett pioneered laparoscopic techniques in urologic surgery and for bladder reconstruction and urinary diversion.
Dr. Christopher J.W.B. Leggett
Title: Director of cardiology, Medical Associates of North Georgia
Specialty: Interventional cardiology
Dr. Christopher J. W. B. Leggett describes the field of cardiology as "exciting and ever evolving." He currently practices at St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta, Piedmont Hospital, and Northside Hospital-Cherokee, and is the director of cardiology for Medical Associates of North Georgia in the Atlanta metropolitan area. He is an expert in interventional cardiology procedures. "I was attracted to it because we make an immediate impact on the lives of others," he says.
Someone who made an impact on his life was his mother. The second youngest of 11 children, Leggett lost his father when he was 8, and was raised by her. She instilled in him the strength and faith he needed to succeed in life. Leggett's quest for excellence started when, at 13 years of age, he entered the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, on a full academic scholarship from the "A Better Chance" organization. After graduating, Leggett attended Princeton University on an academic scholarship. He then went on to attend Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in his hometown of Cleveland. His postgraduate training was completed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Says Leggett, "I wanted to train under the best. Therefore, I spent a year training in 1993 under Dr. Gary Rubin, who co-invented the first intracoronary stent ever marketed."
Only 40 years of age, he has many achievements to his credit. As one of the leading interventionalists in the world, he is a consultant to the top three interventional companies in the world--Guidant Corp., Boston Scientific Corp., and Medtronic-Arterial Vascular Engineering. In 1999, he was directly involved in the development of a distal embolization device, which prevents debris from causing strokes during procedures.
--Leslie E. Royal
Jenelle E. Foote, M.D.
Private practice; clinical assistant professor, urology, department of surgery, Emory School of Medicine; assistant clinical professor, department of OB-GYN, Morehouse School of Medicine
Contact: 404-881-0966 Atlanta, GA 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.
Gerald P. Hoke, M.D.
Chief of urology, department of surgery, Harlem Hospital Center; assistant professor of clinical urology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; assistant attending, New York-Presbyterian Hospitals
Contact: 212-305-5524 New York, NY
Note: Dr. Hoke focuses on male sexual dysfunction, prostate cancer, and disease research, with an emphasis on African Americans.
Lionel B. Fraser Jr., M.D.
Founding partner; Metropolitan Urology. P.A.; clinical instructor of surgery (urology), University of Mississippi School of Medicine
Contact: 601-982-0982 Jackson, MS
Note: Dr. Fraser focuses on prostatic diseases including cancer, incontinence, and impotence. He is the president of Millennium Health Technologies, a physician/staff training, and software company.
Terry Mason, M.D.
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
Contact: 312-842-4400 Chicago, IL
Note: Dr. Mason is considered the "top doc" on urology. Currently, he is the regional chair of the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer.
MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THE MEDICAL FIELD
Janice G. Douglas, M.D.
Professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics; professor of pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University
Note: Dr. Douglas is one of the country's pioneers in cardiac endocrinology and hypertension, with specific emphasis on African Americans. She is also co-author of Pathology of Hypertension in Blacks (Oxford University Press. 1993).
Samuel Daniel, M.D.
Clinical assistant professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and assistant clinical professor of medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Note: Known for his work on pain management, especially in the care of African Americans and other minorities. Dr. Daniel focuses on colorecral cancer screening.
Frances J. Dunston, M.D.
Professor and chair, department of pediatrics; professor of community health and preventive medicine, and general pediatrics, Morehouse School of Medicine
Note: Nationally known for her work on childcare advocacy and policy, Dr. Dunston is a former CEO of the New Jersey Commissioner of Health. She is board certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Harold P. Freeman, M.D.
President, CEO, and director of surgery, North General Hospital; professor of clinical surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Note: Dr. Freeman is an administrator now, but he still performs surgery. He is renowned for his work in breast cancer research in African Americans. He has been the medical director of the Breast Examination Center of Harlem via Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center since 1979.
William B. Lawson, M.D.
Chairman, department of psychiatry, Howard University College of Medicine, Howard University Hospital
Note: Board certified in psychiatry and neurology, Dr. Lawson focuses on addiction research and treatment of minorities. He is a former faculty member at the University of California at Irvine. He is the research director for Metropolitan State Hospital in Longbeach, Virginia.
Floyd J. Malveaux, M.D.
Vice provost for health affairs and dean of Howard University College of Medicine
Note: Recognized nationally as an expert on asthma and allergic diseases, and risk factors contributing to mortality in low socio-economic groups, Dr. Malveaux established the allergy and immunology training program at Howard and was founder of the Urban Asthma and Allergy Center in Baltimore.
Lynne D. Richardson, M.D.
Vice chair, department of emergency medicine; program director, emergency medicine residency; and professor of emergency medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine
Note: Dr. Richardson is an attending physician in emergency medicine at Elmhurst Hospital in New York. She is principal investigator on several research projects, a member of the American Public Health Association, and is on the board of the American Heart Association (New York City affiliate).
David Satcher, M.D.
Surgeon general of the United States
Note: He was sworn in as surgeon general in February 1998. He is the first African American man to be named to the post. He is past director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and past president of Meharry Medical College. He has been honored by the AMA and the American College of Physicians. He received the New York Academy of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award.
Aaron Shirley, M.D.
Director of Community Health Services, University of Mississippi Medical Center; chairman, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation
Note: Renowned for his work in rural health, Dr. Shirley was founder of the Jackson-Hinds Complete Comprehensive Health Center. He recently resigned that post to start the Jackson Medical Mall.
Carol L. Storey-Johnson, M.D.
Senior associate dean for education and associate professor of clinical medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Note: Dr. Storey-Johnson rose up through the ranks at Cornell from a student to senior associate responsible for the academic program at Weill Cornell, one of the country's leading medical schools. She's won several teaching awards.
TEACHING TOMORROW'S DOCTORS
Morehouse School of Medicine
President: Louis W. Sullivan, M.D.
As the first president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Sullivan has served in the position every year since 1981. In 1989, he took a four-year position in the administration of President George H. Bush as secretary of health and human services, then returned to Morehouse. A graduate of Morehouse College and the recipient of a medical degree from the Boston University School of Medicine, Sullivan also serves on the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools and the United Way of America.
Dean: E. Nigel Harris, M.D., D.M.
Prior to his appointment in 1996, Dr. Harris was a professor of medicine and chief of the division of rheumatology at the University of Louisville since 1993. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master of philosophy degree in biochemistry from Yale University. Harris also added a doctor of medicine degree from the University of the West Indies as a postgraduate.
School History: Founded in 1975, the Morehouse School of Medicine began a two-year basic sciences program in 1978; 24 students were enrolled. It was not until 1981 that the school was authorized to expand into a four-year institution. Since then, class size has grown to 40. There were 2,500 applicants last year.
Meharry Medical College
President: John E. Maupin Jr., D.D.S.
Dr. Maupin has served as the president since July 1994. Prior to this position, he was executive vice president at the Morehouse School of Medicine. As a graduate of the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, he is the first alumnus to serve as president.
Dean: A. Cherrie Epps, Ph.D.
Dr. Epps, the dean since July 1997, received her M.S. degree in biological sciences from Loyola University. Both her B.S. and Ph.D. were earned at Howard University. Before accepting her position as dean, Epps served as special advisor to the president. Before Meharry, Epps held positions at the Universities of Tulane and Miami, as well as at Johns Hopkins, Howard, and Xavier Universities.
School History: Founded in 1876, the Meharry Medical College was developed as part of society's plan to educate freed slaves and offer healthcare to the poor and under-privileged. Since the state of Tennessee's charter allowed the college to become independent in 1915, Meharry Medical College is now the largest private, historically black institution for healthcare professionals. Eighty medical students and 30 residents are admitted each year. --Quincy L. Lewis
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
President: Charles K. Francis, M.D.
With his research into coronary artery disease in African Americans, Dr. Francis has developed a serious interest in health services and medical effectiveness research. In addition, Francis is the past president of the Association of Black Cardiologists and the recipient of the Louis B. Russell Memorial Award presented by the American Heart Association.
Dean: Calvin Johnson, M.D.
Since December 2000, Dr. Johnson has been the residing dean. The Dartmouth College graduate is a distinguished professor, and is currently chairman of the university's department of anesthesiology. In addition to his duties at Drew, Johnson is a proud recipient of numerous hospital appointments, and a member of numerous professional medical organizations.
School History: Established in 1966, the College of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science primarily promotes multidisciplinary institutional interests. The only minority health science and technology center west of the Mississippi, the college is dedicated to medical education and institutional research that coordinates with minority health issues.
Howard University College of Medicine
Dean: Floyd J. Malveaux, M.D.
Dr. Malveaux is a nationally recognized and greatly awarded expert in asthma and allergic diseases. Beyond a series of medical teaching and research positions, Malveaux established the university's fully accredited Conjoint Training Program in Allergy and Immunology. (See sidebar, "Major Contributors to the Medical Field," this article.)
School History: Howard University College of Medicine is recognized as the oldest historically black medical school in the United States. Highly ranked amongst prestigious medical schools around the country, HUCM was established 1868. Today, the College of Medicine is committed to training highly competent physicians. Graduates are dedicated to delivering top-quality healthcare to underserved communities. --Raelyn C. Johnson
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