Paramedics wheel a patient to the x-ray room
Paramedics wheel a patient to the x-ray room at the University of Miami Hospital's Emergency Department. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

African-American women have been making significant contributions in the field of medicine for over a century. Many of these women are likely unknown, but their practices have been used to advance American medicine in many fields.

These women have had impact beyond medicine, often taking their influence into politics. In the early days of American medicine many were first to make certain strides, but at times last to be noticed for their accomplishments. Black Enterprise reports:

Though there has been a major concern about black women in the science and tech industries, but many have made major strides. African-American women contribute daily to new research, advances and innovations in medicine, holding the torch passed to them by pioneers who broke racial and gender barriers.

Since the country’s inception, black women have been working tirelessly to advance the cause of medicine and eradicate sickness and disease. From the first black nurse to the first black female neurosurgeon, African-American women have solidified their place in medical history and left a legacy of firm determination, selfless compassion, and academic excellence.

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