Celebrate 125 Years of The National Medical AssociationNov 26, 2020 08:00AM ● By Kassidy Garland
125 years ago, on November 26, the National Medical Association, originally known as the National Negro Medical Association, was formed. With the help of Howard University and Meharry Medical school staff members, the association was established to support those in the medical profession including pharmacists, doctors, and dentists.
Despite the fact that Black medical professionals existed, the only medical association was White-only. In response to this the NMA was founded in order to combat the racism and segregation that plagued medical professionals and their patients.
The NMA’s manifesto was written by Charles Roman and adopted in 1908. It reads as follows: Conceived in no spirit of racial exclusiveness, fostering no ethnic antagonism, but born of the exigencies of American environment, the National Medical Association has for its object the banding together for mutual cooperation and helpfulness, the men and women of African descent who are legally and honorably engaged in the practice of the cognate professions of medicine, surgery, pharmacy and dentistry."
During the early 1900s, the number of Black medical professionals grew, but unfortunately, the memberships to the NMA were not on the same incline. To remedy this, their first publication, Journal of the National Medical Association, was created.
The NMA also fought for African American’s access to quality hospitals and sufficient medical care. In 1923, the National Hospital Association was established to improve and monitor the quality of black hospitals.
By the 1950s and 60s, the NMA joined the NAACP in the fight for civil rights. They lead the fight for the end of racial discrimination and disparities in healthcare across the country. During this time, historically white institutions began to enroll Black students in classes.
Currently representing over 50,000 Black healthcare professionals and their patients, the NMA aims to serve disparities that still occur in today’s society. The NMA conducts national consumer education programs on a number of medical disparities including cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, HIV/AIDS, women’s health, asthma, smoking cessation, immunization, traffic safety, breastfeeding, and clinical trials.
The NMA’s advocacy for healthcare in underrepresented communities continues, however, they fight for healthcare rights for all ethnicities. They ensure to create and maintain a healthcare system that is equally available to everyone.
The NMA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
Kassidy Garland has had a great appreciation for reading and writing since she was young. She graduated from West Chester University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English & Women and Gender Studies. With a concentration in creative writing, Kassidy has 5 years of experience writing blogs, articles, and for social media. Based out of Philadelphia, Kassidy loves to write about a number of topics and looks forward to sharing her passion with those at FunTimes Magazine.