Black Doctors, Dentists Receive Equal Privileges at KGH (1942)

Tenn. Hospital Personnel Is Rated Equally

No Longer a Difference Between Colored, White Physicians, Dentists

by Dr. O. B. Taylor

Knoxville, Tenn. — (ANP) — Through the efforts of the East Tennessee Hospital association, Negro physicians and dentists have been placed on an equal basis with white medics at the Knoxville General hospital.

The association, which sponsored the building of the Negro unit at the general hospital through a $50,000 grant from the Rosenwald fund and an action against the hospital in securing for Negro physicians the unsupervised privileges once accorded only to whites.

The unit was completely and fully equipped in 1935, but the hospital refused to accept Negro physicians on the same status as whites.

First of the Negro physicians to perform a major operation in the unit was Dr. S. M. Clark, president of the association, who was the leading spirit in the fight for equal rights at the municipal hospital.

Without supervision, Dr. Clark and his son, Dr. Hubert Clark of Hubbard hospital at Nashville, performed a successful operation a few days after the court had handed down a decision in favor of the association.

In extending this equality of rights, the court declared, “No regularly licensed physician in the state of Tennessee can be deprived of his right, regardless as to race, color or creed, to practice medicine and surgery in any tax-supported hospital in the aforesaid state, unsupervised, so long as he abides by the reasonable rules and regulations governing such hospitals.”

Source:  Chicago Defender, February 21, 1942, page 12


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