Historical Spotlight

Dorothy Lavinia Brown (1919-2004)

“Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown was the first African American woman surgeon in the South. ….There were no other black women in general surgery in the South and she had to forge through almost universal resistance. She said that “Dr. Matthew Walker was a brave man” because he accepted her into the program despite advice from his staff that a woman couldn’t withstand the rigors of surgery.

Brown worked through a five-year residency at Meharry and George W. Hubbard Hospital to become Assistant Professor of Surgery in 1955 and the first African American woman to be made a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

From 1957 to 1983 Brown was chief of surgery at Nashville’s Riverside Hospital, clinical professor of surgery at Meharry Medical College, and educational director for the Riverside-Meharry Clinical Rotation Program. She also served as a consultant on health, education, and welfare for the National Institutes of Health (National Advisory Council Heart, Lung, and Blood) in 1982.

Brown’s determination, beliefs, and values helped her to break through barriers in various aspects of her life.”

Read more about Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown: HERE

Citation: https://cfmedicine.nlm.nih.gov/physicians/biography_46.html

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