The Army, on the recommendation of medical officials of Selective Service, recently incorporated the members of the Freedman’s Hospital Examining Unit into its new examining system as contract physicians. Two groups now examine draftees on four or five afternoons a month at Fort Meyer at regular pay. I have every reason to think that the selection of these men to share the burden of medical examination of selectees was actuated by a feeling that they were competent to do the job. No special concessions have been made.

     There is not time to mention in detail the Negro physicians who give their time freely as members of local draft boards. These men are serving and will serve without complaint or wish to be honored.

     A third part of our war effort is in the Civilian Defense Emergency Medical Program. Since Pearl Harbor, the Medico-Chirurgical Society, which represents the majority of Negro doctors, has organized a complete emergency unit under an adjutant subordinate to the local chief medical officer.

     Every Negro physician in the city is employed in this program which is designed to supply adequate medical services to a specific section of the city in event of a bombing raid or other civic emergency. Freedman’s Hospital is the center of this activity.

     Much more could be said of this project if time allowed. However, let it suffice to say that these men enjoy no special position in the local civilian defense. They handle the problems that everyone else does under the same just supervision. This organization was commended at the recent National Medical Association Meeting as unique among Negro hospitals. Our present ambition is to make it outstanding among all hospitals.

     A fourth responsibility which is shared by the Negro physicians is that of maintaining health facilities in a crowded city. This problem is many sided and difficult. In the Freedman’s Hospital larger clinics must be served. In the city new demands on the physicians’s time must be met and medical care given to large numbers of war workers. The Medico-Chirurgical Society has established a register which is prepared to recommend to colored patients desiring private medical care, medical practitioners and men qualified in all of the specialties. This information may be obtained day or night by calling Republic 2926.


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November 2000