WFYI Indianapolis

The Good Doctors

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Air date: May 27, 2012

Host: Eric Meslin, PhD

Healthcare Policy & Public Health Medical History
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Interview: John Dittmer, professor of history at DePauw University.



Author John Dittmer discusses the under reported history of the civil rights movement within the medical community in the 1960s.

Until the late 1960s, African American doctors were not permitted to belong to county medical associations. Since it was those local associations that granted hospital privileges, African American physicians often were not permitted to admit patients to white-run hospitals in the south.

It wasn’t until 1968 that the American Medical Association was pressured to change this policy, in part by the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR).

Dittmer tells Sound Medicine’s Dr. Eric Meslin that the MCHR was made up of volunteer doctors from the north who had their own version of a civil rights freedom ride.

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