The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is proud to honor Black History Month, a month-long celebration of the contributions and achievements of African Americans that have shaped the United States. The AOA also recognizes the countless sacrifices made by African Americans in U.S. history, as well as those made today in the face of systemic racism and inequality. In a show of solidarity for these important issues and in response to the civil unrest that has gripped our nation during the past year, we reaffirm our commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within the osteopathic medical profession. For more information, read our previous statement denouncing racism and inequality.
This year is especially notable in the osteopathic profession as we mark the 100th anniversary of the graduation of Meta Christy, DO, who became the first African American osteopathic physician when she earned her DO degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1921. We thank Dr. Christy for leading the way for current and future African American graduates in our profession.
Throughout the month, we will honor the momentous contributions of African American osteopathic physicians who paved the way for future generations, as well as those working to effect change by increasing the number of African American physicians and addressing minority health care disparities.
Stay up to date throughout the month with the following highlights:
- Details on AOA initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Stories from African American osteopathic physician trailblazers, including William G. Anderson, DO, who fought segregation and discrimination during the Civil Rights Movement and became the first African American president of the AOA; and Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, who became the first African American woman to be named dean of a U.S. medical school and the first osteopathic physician to become a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow.
- Spotlight on the efforts of Tyree Winters, DO, to raise awareness of osteopathic medicine among prospective minority medical students by conducting an annual tour of historically Black colleges and universities.
- A Journal of Osteopathic Medicine special communication on diversity in osteopathic medical school admissions.
- Profile of work being done by colleges of osteopathic medicine to establish and uphold anti-racist culture.
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