It’s Black History Month, and here at COAACH Health NC, we are honoring outstanding African-American Doctors who have made huge contributions to Black History in dedicating their lives to research in the areas of Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller (August 1, 1872–January 16, 1953), was the first African-American psychiatrist. Fuller was born in Monrovia, Liberia. He was the grandson of medical missionaries in Liberia, a colony set up in Africa by African-Americans and Freed Slaves. Fuller came to the U.S. in 1889 to attend Livingston College in Salisbury, N.C., he received his MD in 1897 from Boston University School of Medicine and began an internship at Westboro State Hospital. Two years later he was promoted to pathologist and also named to a faculty post at his alma mater. He remained on staff at Westboro for 45 years as a pathologist and later a consultant. Fuller performed ground-breaking research on the physical changes that occur in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. In 1904, he spent a year with Kraepelin in the laboratory of Alzheimer in Munich, Germany. In 1909 Fuller was a speaker at the Clark University Conference organized by G. Stanley Hall, which was attended by such notable scientists and intellectuals as anthropologist Franz Boaz, psychiatrists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Fuller made significant contributions to the study of Alzheimer’s disease. He also had a private practice as a physician, neurologist and psychiatrist. In 1919 Fuller became part of the faculty at Boston University School of Medicine.