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Dr. James McCune Smith, the first African-American to obtain a medical degree, has a remarkable legacy of historical proportions, yet his immense impact on society remains relatively unknown. He may be most celebrated for his effectiveness in abolitionist politics, however, his pioneering influence in medicine is equally remarkable. As examples, McCune Smith pioneered the use of medically based statistics to challenge the notion of African-American racial inferiority. He scientifically challenged the racial theories promoted in Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (Jefferson T., 1832), and he was a harsh critic of phrenology (study of the shape and size of the cranium as a supposed indication of character and mental abilities). Furthermore, notwithstanding being denied entry to America's universities and medical societies because of his race, McCune Smith became a giving physician to orphans, an accomplished statistician, medical author, and social activist who worked to end slavery. His pioneering work debunked doubts about the ability of African-Americans to transition into free society. Specifically, he used his training in medicine and statistics to refute the arguments of slave owners and prominent thought leaders that African-Americans were inferior and that slaves were better off than free African-Americans or white urban laborers. Frederick Douglass, narrator of the Anti-Slavery Movement, cited Dr. James McCune Smith as the single most important influence on his life. Dr. McCune Smith, along with Frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith, John Brown and other intellectual pioneers of the time, were instrumental in making the elimination of slavery possible.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Advances in physiology education
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Physicians who hold degrees from medical schools in countries other than the ones in which they practice.
Educational programs for medical graduates entering a specialty. They include formal specialty training as well as academic work in the clinical and basic medical sciences, and may lead to board certification or an advanced medical degree.
Acquiring information from a patient on past medical conditions and treatments.
The period of medical education in a medical school. In the United States it follows the baccalaureate degree and precedes the granting of the M.D.
Self-administered health questionnaire developed to obtain details of the medical history as an adjunct to the medical interview. It consists of 195 questions divided into eighteen sections; the first twelve deal with somatic complaints and the last six with mood and feeling patterns. The Index is used also as a personality inventory or in epidemiologic studies.