Paving the Way: Book Chronicles Legacy of First African Americans in Medicine

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Paving the Way: Book Chronicles Legacy of First African Americans in. Medicine

African American Medical Pioneers By Charles H. Epps Jr., Davis G. Johnson and Audrey L. Vaughan (Betz Publishing, 1994, 256 pp. $65.00)

by Ronald E. Childs

An exceedingly rare offering in the marketplace for medical, reference or African American historical texts, the newly published "African American Medical Pioneers" is one that probably should have been written long ago. Yet considering the finished product, this November 1994 release has been more than worth the wait.

Written by Charles H. Epps Jr., dean of the College of Medicine at Howard University in Washington, DC, Davis G. Johnson, a professor and consultant in the same department, and Audrey L. Vaughan, public information officer and also a writer and editor at the same institution, the title certainly boasts exhaustive research meticulously compiled by able and learned academicians.

This comprehensive volume, however, doesn't stop there, nor does it prematurely rest on its laurels by simply listing the prestigious credentials of those individuals who are profiled, or who otherwise may have contributed to the project. In more ways than one, "African American Medical Pioneers" proves itself an indispensable work for students and health-care providers alike.

Among the reader-friendly highlights to be found on these pages are detailed accounts of the largely unheralded achievements of countless African Americans in the field of medicine, plus a revealing look back at the record of Black medical education in this country since 1868. Towering historical figures, many of whom selflessly paved the way for today's generation of African-American medical professionals, are fittingly acknowledged here.

Among the book's 33 inspiring biographical profiles are those of Charles R. Drew, director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank; Clive 0. Callender of the National Task Force on Organ Transplantation; Louis W. Sullivan, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and American Cancer Society president LaSalle D. …