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Daniel Hale Williams Society

dale-hale-williams-society reception

The Daniel Hale Williams Society of the Feinberg School of Medicine was created in 2018 to address the need to focus on the recruitment of African-American males into the medical profession. A recent report from the American Association of Medical Colleges indicates that numbers of African American males in medicine have been stagnant for the past 40 years. According to the report, Altering the Course, Black Males in Medicine, in 1978, 1,410 black men applied to U.S. medical schools and in 2014, that number was 1,337. Findings of the report also show that in 1978, there were 542 black male matriculants to MD-granting institutions. In 2014, that number was 515.

To address this critical concern, the Daniel Hale Williams Society has launched several initiatives to promote and facilitate African American male career development and matriculation to medical school. The Society's Board Members are prominent campus leaders who proactively identify promising students at the undergraduate level, provide career mentorship and guidance, and encourage applications to Feinberg. The Society hosts interviews, campus tours, and revisits to campus and also provides scholarship support for promising medical students. If you are interested in learning more about the Daniel Hale Williams Society please contact us at diversitymed@northwestern.edu. Admissions-specific questions may also be sent to med-admissions@northwestern.edu.

About Daniel Hale Williams, MD

Daniel Hale Williams, MD, was Feinberg's first African-American graduate and faculty member, and one of the most noteworthy physicians of the 20th century. He was the first black fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the principal founder of the National Medical Association. Williams founded Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first black-owned and -operated interracial hospital in the country in 1891. He performed one of the world's first successful heart operations in 1893, and was appointed surgeon-in-chief at Freedman's Hospital, Washington, D.C., in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland.

About Emma Reynolds, MD

In 1892, Daniel Hale Williams provided a “Certificate of Character” for the admission of Emma Reynolds to Northwestern University Woman’s Medical School. Reynolds was a graduate of the Training School for Nurses at Provident Hospital and went on to become the first Black woman to be awarded an MD at Northwestern in 1895. In 2020, the Feinberg Admissions Office awarded several inaugural Emma Reynolds, MD, Scholarships to incoming female Black students in the class of 2024.

Learn more about Emma Reynolds, MD.

Daniel Hale Williams Society Steering Committee Members

Daniel Hale Williams Diversity and Inclusion Award

Each year, this award is bestowed upon one student who epitomizes the vision that leaders at Feinberg embrace regarding how diversity and inclusion should manifest in the Feinberg culture.

Patricia "Oby" Ekwueme

2020 Recipient - Patricia "Oby" Ekwueme

Fourth-year medical student Patricia "Oby" Ekwueme, '20 MD, '20 MPH, is recognized for her service and advocacy for Chicago’s youth as well as for her efforts in shaping their paths towards careers in healthcare. While at Feinberg, she was an active Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Ambassador and former secretary of the Student National Medical Association.

Ekwueme’s excellence as a medical student is exemplified by her dual pursuit of an MD degree and a Master’s in Public Health degree. She will complete her residency in Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

2019 Recipient - Javier Suarez

Fourth-year medical student Javier Suarez recieved the 2019 award in recognition of his service and advocacy for the Latino community. During his years at Feinberg, Suarez was an active Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Ambassador and a member of the Latino Medical Student Association, serving as a strong advocate for medical Spanish as an important part of medical education. He worked closely with Chicago’s youth, teaching and tutoring at-risk high school students through Feinberg’s partnership with Chicago Youth Programs and has been involved with the Northwestern Medicine Scholars Program by participating in panels, anatomy lab guided tours and personal statement workshops for college applications.

Javier Suarez, 2019 2019 Daniel Hale Williams Diversity and Inclusion Student Award Winner