Black History: Special Delivery!!
Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence (1914 – 2019) was a trailblazing pediatrician and psychoanalyst. Born in New York City, Lawerence grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and later returned to New York to complete high school. Her interest in pursuing a career in mental health and medicine resulted from her family’s grief when her older brother died of a congenital medical condition before his first birthday. This was 2 years before Lawrence was born. Her family’s grief motivated her to pursue a medical career, hoping that she could save other children from meeting the same fate as her brother.
In 1932, Lawrence arrived in Ithaca, NY as the sole black undergraduate at Cornell University. She was not allowed to live on campus due to her race. Instead, she lived with a white family and did domestic work in exchange for room and board. Lawrence completed her undergraduate degree with excellent grades but was denied admission to Cornell’s Medical School due to her race. She was later accepted to Columbia University Of Physicians and Surgeons under the condition that white patients could refuse treatment. She was its only black student of 104 total students in 1940 and one of only ten women. At Columbia, she was mentored by Dr. Charles Drew, the only black faculty member, and the modern-day blood bank founder.Continue reading “Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence: Trailblazing Child Psychiatrist & Pediatrician”