Pioneers in Healthcare
An AACAP Life Fellow, AACAP's Beatrix A. Hamburg Award for the Best New Research Poster by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Resident is named in her honor. Dr. Hamburg, known as a pioneer in child and adolescent psychiatry, was one of the first African American students to attend Vassar Collage, and the first to attend Yale Medical School. After graduating with her medical degree, Dr. Hamburg led a long and fruitful career spent in part in the psychiatry departments of Stanford, Harvard, Mount Sinai, Icahn School of Medicine, and Weill Cornell Medical College. Her primary focus was on the stages of adolescence and the struggles these stages present. A strong advocate for peer counseling for teens, her work greatly advanced the concept of peer counseling for teens and led to her recognition as one of the nation's top experts on the problems of adolescence and its different stages; a subject that had not before been studied in such depth. In addition, she and her husband David A. Hamburg researched the effects of stress and related coping mechanisms, focusing on the effects of stressful situations like poverty, and war. Together, they co-authored the book Learning to Live Together: Preventing Hatred and Violence in Child and Adolescent Development. This is but a snapshot of her many contributions to the field of child and adolescent psychiatry. Sadly, she passed away in April of 2018.
Read more about her life and contributions to child and adolescent psychiatry here. Find information on AACAP's Beatrix A. Hamburg, MD, Award for the Best New Research Poster by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry here.
Joseph L. White, PhD, founded California's Educational Opportunity Program, which provides access to education and other opportunities to low-income or otherwise educationally-disadvantaged students in the state. Dr. White helped found the Association of Black Psychologists in 1968 and is most well-known as the godfather of Black psychology for his exposure of the implicit biases present in medical systems. Dr. White was a life-long advocate of education reform. Read more.
Carl Bell, MD, was adistinguished psychiatrist, violence-prevention crusader, and preeminent expert on the impact of violence on children in disadvantaged communities. From Chicago, Dr. Bell graduated with his medical degree from Meharry Medical College before continuing with his postgraduate studies at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute. His career spanned time spent in the US Navy; in health facilities across Chicago; as an author; an editor; as a professor of psychiatry; as a chairman of the National Medical Association's Section on Psychiatry; as a researcher, and much more. Dr. Bell's work focused on mental health within African American communities and violence prevention. Read more here and here
Solomon Carter Fuller, MD, was the first African American Psychiatrist in the United States. His work focused on degenerative diseases of the brain, and he made immense contributions to the study of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Fuller's grandfather was formerly enslaved in Virginia. He bought his and his wife's freedom and moved to Norfolk, Virginia before emigrating to Liberia in 1852 as a medical missionary. Dr. Fuller gained his inspiration to enter the medical field from his grandparents, and in 1889 emigrated to the US to study at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, before attending Long Island College Medical School. He later completed his medical degree at the Boston University School of Medicine. After time as an intern at Boston's Westborough State Hospital, he joined the staff as a pathologist. Despite discrimination in the field, Dr. Fuller used discoveries he made during autopsies to advance his career and in 1903 was one of five students chosen by Alois Alzheimer to study at the Royal Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Munich. His other large contributions to the medical field included the education of syphilis symptoms and advocacy on behalf of black war veterans who were getting misdiagnosed and deemed ineligible for military benefits.In 1974, the Black Psychiatrists of America created the Solomon Carter Fuller Program for young black aspiring psychiatrists to complete their residency. Dr. Fuller is one of the great contributors to the study of neuropathology in medical history.
Born in 1906, Paul B. Cornely, MD, DrPH, attended the University of Michigan School of Medicine where he was the first African American medical student elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, and the first African American public health student to earn his doctorate in the field. After graduating university, he went on to serve as president of the Pro-National Health Insurance Physician's Forum, and to chair the Medical Care Section Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) later serving as president. He was the first African American person to serve in any of these positions. Throughout his long career as a teacher, researcher, and advocate, Dr. Cornely was also a passionate advocate for civil rights, and became highly visible in the 1950's for his role in the civil rights movement. Most notably was his focus, alongside his colleague Montague Cobb, on desegregating the United State's health facilities and making them accessible to African American patients and physicians. In 1963 he was the local medical coordinator for the August 28 March on Washington, and in 1966 he began a two-year term as a member of the APHA's Committee on Integration in Health Services. Dr. Cornely was a pioneer in American Public Health.
Read more about his life and the impact of his work.