Rivers Frederick, MD (1874-1954)
In 1897, Frederick became the first African American to graduate from the new Chicago College of Physicians and Surgeons (UIC) with a medical degree. He then won a highly competitive 18-month scholarship to the John B. Murphy Surgical Clinic at Cook County Hospital in Chicago,based on his examination scores. in 1899, Frederick returned to Louisiana because of his”growing desire to return to the place of my birth in order to help train young Negroes for adequate service in the growing field of medical practice, badly needed among our people.” At the time, it was rare for black physicians to return South, but Frederick joined the less than 50 African American physicians in Louisiana who cared for the state’s Black population of half a million. In 1908, Frederick accepted the post of Chief Surgeon at Sarah Goodridge Hospital in New Orleans and in 1932 took up the position of Chief of Surgery at the Flint-Goodridge Hospital at Dillard University.He played an instrumental role in the formation of the local NAACP Branch and remained a life member. Despite his great accomplishments, for many years Frederick was denied membership to both the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons because of racism.
1923- Frederick became one of the founders of the black-owned Louisiana Life Insurance Company, known today as the Universal Life Insurance Company. Frederick filled the roles of a board member, secretary, vice-president, and president
1934- Frederick became the first vice-president of the National Medical Association
Award of Merit for Outstanding Service- The American Cancer Society
1949- Honorary presidency of the New Orleans Urban League