NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—In many ways, the change that scares so many in healthcare is a birthright for Dana M. Thompson, MD, MS.
Explore this issue:June 2018
Her grandfather, who graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville in 1927, was the only African-American general practitioner within a 100-mile radius of his office in Aberdeen, Miss. He was sometimes paid in chickens and eggs.
Dr. Thompson’s father was another Meharry alumni, an obstetrician in Kansas City, Kan., who only half-jokingly told people, “I’m everything the KKK hates: I’m black, Jewish, and Catholic.” He told his daughter early on that she couldn’t live her dream of being Howard Cosell of Monday Night Football fame, but instead, he brought her to his office and to the hospital to make rounds with him to show her what she could be. He instilled into her psyche that she would have to work four times harder than everyone else just to be on the same playing field.