Dr. David Kearney McDonough: First Black Ophthalmologist

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Born an enslaved person in Louisiana in 1821, Dr. David Kearney McDonough was the first black ophthalmology specialist. While he studied at Columbia, he was not awarded his medical degree due to his race. However, in 2018, his posthumous degree was given to his great-great-granddaughter, Patricia Worthy- 170 years later. The National Medical Fellowships established the Dr. David Kearney McDonogh Scholarship in Ophthalmology/ENT to medical students in the State of New York from a Black, Afro-Latino, or Native American background who has an interest in a career in ophthalmology or ear, nose, and throat. We honor the memory and celebrate the achievements of Dr. McDonough!

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