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Dr. Joycelyn Elders – #DiversityInHealthcare

Diversity in Healthcare

Dr. Joycelyn Elders grew up in rural and segregated Arkansas. She didn’t even meet a doctor until she was 16 years old, but she heard a speech by Dr. Edith Irby Jones while she was in college and decided to become a physician. She is an Army veteran who attended medical school on the G.I. bill.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders standing at podium
She worked in the realms of both clinical practice and research and was the first person to be board certified in pediatric endocrinology in the state of Arkansas. In 1993, she was appointed and confirmed as the fifteenth Surgeon General of the United States – the first African American and second woman to hold that position.

While she was a controversial figure during her time as Surgeon General, she was always able to spark conversation about previously taboo topics in the name of improving adolescent health.

She spoke on race and health at UH this past November where I was able to take this photo. What an honor to have such a role model here on campus!

More information is available here: https://cfmedicine.nlm.nih.gov/physicians/biography_98.html

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