Black in the Day…An Association of Our Own

November 26, 1895:

On this date The National Medical Association (NMA) was founded by African American physicians as an alternative to the white-only American Medical Association.

The National Medical Association (NMA) is the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States. The NMA is a 501 (c) (3) national professional and scientific organization representing the interests of more than 30,000 African American physicians and the patients they serve, with nearly 112 affiliated societies throughout the nation and U.S. territories. The National Medical Association has been firmly established in a leadership role in medicine. The NMA is committed to improving the quality of health among minorities and disadvantaged people through its membership, professional development, community health education, advocacy, research and partnerships with federal and private agencies. Throughout its history the National Medical Association has focused primarily on health issues related to African Americans and medically underserved populations; however, its principles, goals, initiatives and philosophy encompass all ethnic groups.

Its mission is to advance the art and science of medicine for people of African descent through educationadvocacy, and health policy to promote health and wellness, eliminate health disparities, and sustain physician viability.

The NMA promotes the collective interests of physicians and patients of African descent and tries to carry out this mission by serving as the collective voice of physicians of African descent and a leading force for parity in medicine, elimination of health disparities, and promotion of optimal health.

“Conceived in no spirit of racial exclusiveness, fostering no ethnic antagonism, but born of the exigencies of the American environment, the National Medical Association has for its object the banding together for mutual cooperation and helpfulness, the men and women of African descent who are legally and honorably engaged in the practice of the cognate professions of medicine, surgery, pharmacy and dentistry.”—C.V. Roman, M.D. NMA Founding Member and First Editor of the JNMA 1908

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