BY WALTER OPINDE
Founded in 1876 as the Central Tennessee College’s medical division, the Meharry Medical College entered history as one of the few black medical colleges in the United States, in Nashville, Tennessee. Currently, the school is in historical records as the second oldest medical college for the people of African-American ascent. The origin of the college is traced back to 1876 when Samuel Meharry- an Irish-Scottish immigrant, who traded in salt, donated $15,000 in honor of a former slave family that helped him. This was a donation to the two groups Freedman’s Aid Society and Methodist Episcopal Church, which came together to establish a program that would aid the provision of medical training to the freed slaves. The college was thereby named Meharry Medical College in his honor.
Initially, Meharry functioned as a Medical Department of the Central Tennessee College and had its first graduation in 1877. Later in 1915, the medical department a state charter, thereby becoming an independent institution. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Meharry steadily developed, and by 1952, Dr. West Herold became its first African-American president.
Meharry Medical College currently consists of the School of Dentistry, School of Medicine, the School of Research and Graduate Studies, George Russell Towers of the Hubbard Hospital, the School of Allied Health Professions, the Herold D. Basic Center, and two health centers. The primary areas of study at the college include Dentistry (DMD, DDS), Medicine (MD), Biological, Biochemical, and Biomedical Sciences, as well as Public Health (DPH, MPH). As opposed to other medical schools and other historical black medical colleges, Meharry is a privately owned, independent, and operates as a not-for-profit institution.
Founded in 1909, the George W. Hubbard Hospital was established as a division of the Meharry Medical College, thereby opening its operational or activity doors by 1910. During the time, the clinical teaching facilities were quite limited, and the hospital in some instances had to close and re-open after some duration. The hospital has gone through a series of renovations, with its rebuilding in 1931 and 1976. It remains operational to date as the “Metro General Hospital.” The medical staff at the hospital is composed of Meharry’s Clinical faculty alongside a large number of part-time clinicians, especially from the Vanderbilt University’s medical school. There are approved residency programs for the internal surgery, medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, urology, pediatrics, and pathogeny.
“Read more of the story via: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/aframsurgeons/pioneers.html”
Meharry Medical College, http://www.mmc.edu/ (official website); Reavis L Mitchell, Jr., Meharry Medical College (1876-Present)