Historically famous black surgeons include Vivien Thomas, Lt. Colonel Alexander T. Augusta, Daniel Hale Williams and Dorothy Lavinia Brown. Famous contemporary black surgeons include Ben Carson and Alexa I. Canady.
Each of these surgeons made invaluable contributions to the medical field. Dr. Vivien Thomas overcame exceptional difficulties to become a pioneer of cardiac surgery. Lt. Colonel Alexander T. Augusta became the first black surgeon to be appointed to the faculty of an American medical college. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first recorded pericardium surgery. He also founded Chicago's Provident Hospital, which was the first nonsegregated medical facility in the United States.
Dr. Dorothy Lavinia Brown was the United States' first black female surgeon. She served as the chief surgeon at Riverside Hospital in Nashville. Dr. Brown was also the first black female legislator ever elected to the Tennessee General Assembly. Dr. Ben Carson is a neurosurgery pioneer. He was the first surgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the cranium. He also developed a revolutionary technique to control brain seizures. He was the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital until his retirement in 2013.
Dr. Alexa Canady was the first black woman to become a neurosurgeon in the United States. She pioneered several treatments for brain tumors, brain trauma and congenital spinal abnormalities.