Charles Drew, MD

Charles Drew- Although initially denied for lacking prerequisites, Dr. Drew would go on to be a faculty instructor for pathology at Howard University College of Medicine from 1935 to 1936. He then joined Freedman’s Hospital as an instructor in surgery and an assistant surgeon. He researched in the field of blood transfusions, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. This allowed medics to save thousands of lives during the war. ┬áIn June 1940, Drew received his doctorate in medical science from Columbia, becoming the first African American to earn the degree there. He also became the first African American to be appointed an examiner for the American Board of Surgery. For the next nine years he devoted himself to training and mentoring his medical students and surgical residents and raising standards in black medical education. He also campaigned against the exclusion of black physicians from local medical societies, medical specialty organizations, and the American Medical Association.