Penn Medicine News Blog

February 27, 2015 // By Steve Graff // Comments

Diving into Penn's African American History

250th // Education

ResolverDuring this year, when we are celebrating our 250th  anniversary, it is important to recognize the contributions of African Americans to building the institution we are today.  Our archives provide a rich source of information that reveals the importance of personal resilience and significant institutional milestones.

The medical school opened its doors in 1765, and graduated just 10 students in 1768; however, neither women or people of color were represented among this first graduates. It would be another 80 plus years until the first person of color graduated from a medical school in the U.S. But during the late 1700s, some African Americans were out there practicing medicine, including one Philadelphia native who played a small but interesting part in Penn’s medical education history.

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