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Edith Peterson Mitchell, M.D. is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology and is Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine and Medical Oncology, Program Leader, Gastrointestinal Oncology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and Associate Director for Diversity Programs and Director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University. She is also the 116th President of the National Medical Association.

Dr. Mitchell has spent her medical career helping individuals in medically underserved areas to realize that simple changes in lifestyle can have a dramatic impact on cancer care. Through her work, Dr. Mitchell has demonstrated the importance of community service and outreach especially to those individuals who may not have the means to seek out more conventional medical advice.

Dr. Mitchell received a bachelor of science in Biochemistry “with distinction” from Tennessee State University and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. In 1973, while attending medical school, Dr. Mitchell entered the Air Force and received a commission through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. She entered active duty after completion of her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Meharry Medical College and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at Georgetown University.

In addition to her medical achievements, Dr. Mitchell is a retired Brigadier General, the first female physician to attain this rank in the history of the U.S. Air Force, having served as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Command Surgeon for U.S. Transportation command and Headquarters Air Mobility Command (AMC) based at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. In this capacity she served as the senior medical Air National Guard advisor to the command surgeon and was the medical liaison between the active Air Force and the Air National Guard. Her responsibilities in this role included ensuring maximum wartime readiness and combat support capability of the worldwide patient movement and aeromedical evacuation system, the Global Patient Movement Requirements Center and AMC’s 52 Air National Guard medical squadrons.

General Mitchell has been awarded over 15 military service medals and ribbons including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Achievement and Commendation Medals, National Defense Service Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal. Dr. Mitchell was selected for inclusion in America’s Top Oncologists. Dr. Mitchell is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, European Society of Medical Oncology, American Medical Association, National Medical Association, Aerospace Medical Association, Association of Military Surgeons, the Medical Society of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project.

On a personal note, Dr. Mitchell enjoys gardening, quilting, and listening to jazz and rock music while spending time with her family. She and husband Delmar have been married forty-five years and have two daughters, Dale and DeAnna, a granddaughter, Gabriella and grandson, Jude.

The Obesity Crisis

African-American adults are nearly 1.5 times as likely to be obese compared with White adults. Approximately 47.8 percent of African-Americans are obese (including 37.1 percent of men and 56.6 percent of women) compared with 32.6 percent of Whites (including 32.4 percent of men and 32.8 percent of women). More than 75 percent of African-Americans are overweight or obese (including 69 percent of men and 82.0 percent of women) compared with 67.2 percent of Whites (including 71.4 percent of men and 63.2 percent of women).

 Should Doctors Write Exercise Prescriptions?

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