In recognition of Black History Month, during the four weeks of February, we are sharing weekly spotlights of African American graduates from Northwestern’s medical and dental schools. These alumni made significant contributions to the field of medicine, forging the way for many generations to come.

Information provided by the Galter Health Sciences Library. Library Notes, 2014.

Reynolds_Emma_Ann_170Emma Ann Reynolds, 1895 MD (1862-1917), was a graduate of Wilberforce University and the Provident Hospital Training School for Nurses (1892), and received her MD in 1895 from the Northwestern University Woman’s Medical School. It was after Ms. Reynolds asked Daniel Hale Williams, 1883 MD, for help in getting admitted to an all-white nursing school that Dr. Williams decided to found Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses in Chicago, the first black-owned and -operated hospital in the country. She 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 from Northwestern in 1895.

Following graduation, Dr. Reynolds was the superintendent of the Training School for Nurses, 1895-1896. She was appointed the physician in residence at Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas, in 1897. In 1900, she moved to New Orleans, La., and practiced medicine there until 1906, when she re-located to Ohio for personal reasons. By 1910 she had established a private practice in Sulphur Lick, Ohio, providing much-needed medical care to the rural residents of Ross County until her death in 1917.

Dr. Reynolds’ brother, the Reverend Mr. Louis Henry Reynolds, was pastor of St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church on Chicago’s West Side. Through his efforts and friendship with Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, one of the pastor’s dreams was realized in the founding of Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses and thus began his sister’s medical career.
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