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Indiana University School of Medicine


Upcoming History of Medicine Lecture (April 30 at 4-5 PM)

Date/Time: April 30, 2021 at 4-5pm

Title: Disappearing Heroes: A Look into Early Black Physicians in Indianapolis and How the Disappearance of Black Male Physicians Affects Our Society Today

Speaker: Jamel Hill (MS4, Indiana University School of Medicine)

Description: It has been well documented that the number of Black Male Physicians has been declining since the 1970s. Few novel solutions to this societal problem have mitigated its effects on increasing the number of Black Male Physicians and improving healthcare disparities for black communities. This talk serves to illustrate those historical figures who had to endure nearly insufferable conditions to become physicians in Indianapolis, Indiana during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Dr. Joseph Ward (1872-1956), Dr. Sumner Furniss (1874-1953) and Dr. Clarence Lucas Sr. (1884-1967) were all vital in laying the foundation for a once thriving black community. In addition to these great men, it also took a lot of support and collaboration to build the facilities that they were forced to provide care in due to systemic racism and segregation. These often-forgotten heroes and hospitals can serve as heroes and inspiration for future aspiring physicians.

This event is sponsored by the John Shaw Billings History of Medicine Society, IU School of Medicine History of Medicine Student Interest Group, IUPUI Medical Humanities & Health Studies Program, and the Ruth Lilly Medical Library.

Advanced registration is required:


The Medical Research and Library Building's north entrance is officially closed now due to courtyard renovation. Please use the west entrance (facing the Daly Center) until further notice. Duration of work is estimated to be through the end of July.