December 29th in African American History – Miles Vandahurst Lynk

December 29, 1957 Miles Vandahurst Lynk, pioneering physician, died.

Lynk was born June 3, 1871 in Brownsville, Tennessee. In 1888 at the age of 17, he took a job teaching in Black rural schools to earn money to further his education. In 1891, he earned a medical degree from Meharry Medical College and in 1892 founded “The Medical and Surgical Observer,” the first national medical journal for black physicians.

The monthly journal was published until 1894, focusing on Black medical issues and offering the latest information available on treatments and professional ethics. In 1895, Lynk was one of the twelve founders of the National Association of Colored Physicians, Dentists and Pharmacists, predecessor to The National Medical Association. In 1900, Lynk founded the University of West Tennessee, a black university that taught medicine, dentistry and law, which operated until 1924. In 1952, Lynk received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Medical Association. The Tennessee Historical Commission erected a historical marker near his home in Brownsville to commemorate his life.


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