“Anything is possible when it’s done in love, and everything you can do should be done in love or it will fail.”
― Dr. Daniel Hale Williams
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, known by his patients as “Dr. Dan,” was definitely a candidate for career exploration. Starting his apprenticeship as a shoemaker in Baltimore, Maryland, he quickly learned that work was not for him. He traveled to Illinois and took up barbering, following in his father’s footsteps. Finally, he decided to pursue his education in medicine and became an apprentice to Dr. Henry Palmer, an accomplished surgeon.
In May 1891, Dr. Dan opened Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses. This facility was the first of its kind in the nation, a racially integrated hospital with a nursing and intern program. Williams worked at the hospital, and in 1893 he became one of the first surgeons to successfully perform open heart surgery. The procedure, a repair of the pericardial sac, was performed on a stab wound victim, James Cornish, who lived for many years after his surgery.
Dr. Williams later became the chief surgeon of Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, DC, providing care to freed African-American slaves. He also co-founded the National Medical Association, an alternative to the American Medical Association, which did not allow African-American membership.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was a pioneer for African-American doctors and nurses across the nation and a trailblazer in the surgical field. Once he picked his career path, he pursued it vigorously and brought new techniques and ideas to the medical community.
Interested in pursuing a career in medicine like Dr. Daniel Hale Williams? Check out NYLF Medicine, where you will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience performing life-saving techniques and explore the many medical fields available. If your interest is more surgical, NYLF Advanced Medicine & Health Care offers virtual and hands-on simulated surgery. Or maybe you like the thrill of emergency medicine? If so, Advanced Emergency Medicine, in Collaboration with Stanford Medicine, provides exposure to life-saving ER medical procedures, disaster and wilderness medicine, and dissected human cadavers.
All facts sourced from: Biography.com Editors. Originally published 2014. Updated 2019. “Daniel Hale Williams Biography”. The Biography.com website. Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/daniel-hale-williams-9532269