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On this date in 1884, The Medico-Chirurgical Society of Washington D.C. was founded. It was the first Black medical society in America.
There have been a number of medical societies throughout Black history in the United States. The first American Medical Association was formed in May of 1847 and they were closed to Blacks. The Medical Society of the District of Columbia organized in 1817 and chartered in 1819. They did not admit Blacks. The North Carolina Medical Society, a predominantly white organization; chartered in 1849. As a concession to integration, they allowed Black physicians “scientific” but not “social” membership in 1961.
The Medico-Chirurgical Society of Washington D.C. was chartered in 1895 when it became apparent that discrimination would not end. Other similar organizations were the old North State Medical Society, which was North Carolina’s Negro medical society, and chartered in 1887. They are (now) the North Carolina Medical Pharmaceutical and Dental Association. This name was adopted in 1948. By 1956, medical societies of every southern state had agreed to admit Blacks, with the exception of Louisiana and North Carolina.
The African American Desk Reference
Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture
Copyright 1999 The Stonesong Press Inc. and
The New York Public Library, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pub.