Dr. Robert Fulton Boyd, a Nashville dentist and physician, faced daunting odds yet still became a pioneer in the field of medicine.
Not only was Dr. Boyd the first African-American dentist and doctor to open a practice in the Tennessee town, he was also a co-founder and first president of the National Medical Association, the leading Black health organization representing physicians and health workers nationwide.
Boyd was born a slave on July 8, 1855 in rural Pulaski, eventually living on the plantation of prominent Tennessee doctor Paul Eve. Boyd dreamed of becoming a physician despite his educational limitations, so he attended Fisk University at night when he became of age. Boyd did so well at Fisk, he was able to begin teaching in local schools.
The medical department of Central Tennessee College recognized Boyd’s efforts at Fisk, and he entered the institution in 1880. Two years later, Boyd graduated with honors. After teaching in Mississippi, he graduated from Meharry Medical College with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree in 1887.
On June 11 that same year, Boyd opened his practice. Boyd provided service to poor citizens in Nashville, but served patients of all economic classes as the 20th century dawned. Taken aback by Black mortality rates, he lectured in public forums and churches on the importance of proper health care.
According to Fisk University historian Linda T. Wynn, Boyd collected more degrees. In 1890, he attended the Postgraduate School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. The following year, he earned a Master of Arts degree from Central Tennessee College. Boyd also dabbled in politics, running for mayor and in 1893, for a seat in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Boyd later became Meharry’s professor of gynecology and clinical medicine. Although Central Tennessee could not afford to open a teaching hospital, a facility was built near the school and students had privileges. The hospital was open to Meharry students until Nashville officials barred them due to race. This inspired Boyd to open Mercy Hospital in 1890, and he opened his doors to students and anyone else in need.
That same year, Boyd and a group of prominent Black physicians formed a national fraternity known as the Society of Colored Physicians and Surgeons, which then elected Boyd as its first president.
Because of his standing with the public, Boyd was asked to perform roles outside of medicine. In 1909, Nashville’s second Black-owned bank, People’s Savings Bank and Trust Company, elected Boyd as its president.
Never married, Boyd died on July 20, 1912 at age 57 due to “acute indigestion,” according to reports. He was survived by his mother, Maria Coffey.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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