Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Desegregation at Eloise

Dr. and Mrs. Isaac M. Reid, Jr. from "The Washington Afro-American," July 19, 1960

According to the snippet, Dr. Reid interned at Eloise in 1959 before his residency in Pediatrics at St. Luke's in San Francisco. I'm not sure what the Feminine Front thing is about but I like the picture nonetheless. Mrs. Reid doesn't look all that impressed by whatever was going on in the photograph.

When I first started digging for articles about Eloise I was surprised when I came across pictures and articles concerning black doctors and administrators from back in the 1950s. Not that I didn't think they were qualified but I suppose that I was under the impression that workplace desegregation came much later in the upheaval of the late 1960s and beyond. My ignorance aside, I also read in a few spots where many black doctors felt segregated just the same and often weren't given full staff privileges at the predominantly white hospitals. Many also joined alternate medical associations such as the National Medical Association which had no history of racial prejudice and exclusionary practices like the American Medical Association did. A good article for further reading on the subject can be found here.

As the article below from "Black Enterprise" magazine dating back to February 1975 showcases, the number of black administrators had greatly increased with 35 leading major hospitals across the country. Symuel H. Smith was leading Wayne County General Hospital at the time of the article and led four different hospitals across the country for 25 years before retiring.

Dr. Sidney Jenkins served as the director of the Psychiatric Division of Wayne County General Hospital from 1963 until 1970 when he was appointed to the University of Michigan Medical School. I haven't been able to find anything else concerning his residency at Eloise which included several stints at WCGH amongst other places. For further reading and a short audio clip from the doctor check here.

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