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Dorothy Lavinia Brown

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Dorothy Lavinia Brown

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  1. Dorothy Lavinia Brown Black Women Surgeon

  2. Dorothy Lavinia BrownWho is she? • Not a research scientist • Not a nurses aid But… The First Black Women Surgeon in the South who was and is and inspiration to many

  3. Dorothy Lavinia Brown • Born on January 7, 1919 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania • Parents Edna and Kevin Thomas Brown • She was placed in Troy Orphanage in New York at the age of 5 months • Stayed there until she was 12 years old • A tonsillectomy at the age of 5 -she knew she wanted to be a doctor

  4. Dorothy Lavinia Brown • At the age of 12 her mother takes her out of the orphanage • Worked as a maid, dry cleaner, and in laundry for the Jarrett family • Instead of working wants to be educated • Reads the books in the Jarrett family library • Learns Algebra, Latin, and Chemistry • Finished grade school and high school in Troy, New York

  5. Dorothy Lavinia Brown • Lives with her “foster parents” Samuel and Lola Redmon • Encouraged her artistic talent instead of medicine • The Methodists Women’s Group in Troy help her get money/scholarship to go to college • She attends Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina • Encourage her to teach instead of medicine

  6. Dorothy Lavinia Brown • Obtained a Bachelor of the Arts degree in 1941 • After college she worked as an inspector for the Rochester Army Ordinance Department • In 1944 She entered Meharry Medical School • In 1948 she received her Medical Degree • Followed by one year internship at Harlem Hospital • Wanted to do her residency at Harlem but was rejected • 5 years of residency in general surgery at Meharry Medical School and George W. Hubbard Hospital (Nashville Tennessee)

  7. Dorothy Lavinia Brown….Never Gives Up • She decided she wanted to finish her surgical residency at Meharry Medical • Other male doctors/colleagues did not like the idea of a women on their team • Dr. Matthew Walker chief of surgery at Meharry agreed to give her a position • He was impressed by her determination • Gave her the nickname Dorothy “Mule” Brown

  8. Dorothy Lavinia Brown • Chief surgery of Riverside Hospital -1957 • Clinical Professor of surgery of Meharry Medical College in 1965 • 1971-73 Director of Student of Health Service at Fisk-Meharry Other Activities... • Consultant for the national Heart-Lung Blood Advisory Council • Advisory Board of the Salvation Army

  9. Dorothy Lavinia Brown…Inspiration to many • Lectures Nationally • Role Model • Tells children that “dreams come true and anything is possible”

  10. Dorothy Lavinia Brown…Her Obstacles • After working for the Jarrett Family in Albany New York she moves back to Troy and has no place to live and no money • Before starting college she has no money to pay for school • Teachers, parents and foster parents, and advisors discouraged her from medicine • Unaccepted by other male colleagues • “Woman-Black-Poor” • Not “physically, intellectually, nor emotionally fit to perform surgery

  11. Dorothy Lavinia Brown“There is a first time for everything” • Finally in 1954 she became the first black surgeon in the south • Other Firsts… • First unmarried women in the state of Tennessee to adopt • First women to be elected to the Tennessee Legislature

  12. Dorothy Lavinia Brown“The Politician” • 1966 was the first black women to be elected in the Tennessee State Legislature Fifth District • She wanted to liberalize state abortion laws • She wanted to legalized abortion for victims of rape and incest • She was criticized be her male colleagues • The Bill did not pass but… • Promoted a Bill that established Negro History Week in Tennessee • Eventually leads to the creation of Black History Month

  13. Dorothy Lavinia BrownAwards • American College of Medicine • Nashville Academy of Medicine • R.F. Boyd Medical Society • National Medical Association • Award of Outstanding Achievement-Delta Sigma Theta Sorority 1963 • Outstanding Citizen • Women of the Year • Women’s building at Meharry Medical College named after her • Honorary Doctor of Science-Russell Sage College-1972 • American College of Surgeons