How The Flexner Report Prevented Black People From Obtaining A Medical License

The purpose of this post is to inform readers about a report that said black people have more germs than white people. The Flexner Report affected African-American hospitals, physicians and doctors from 1910-present day. You can read the full report here. During the early 1900’s a group of men (William Welch, Frederick Gates, Abraham Flexner) known as the Hopkins Circle gathered and came up with a set of goals for the future of medicine in America + more. In result a research was conducted and a report was provided to the general population. The only person that received credit for the report was Abraham Flexner even though William Welch was allegedly the mastermind. Not sure if this mean much but Abraham Flexner come from a j3wish family and his brother Simon (former head of the Rockefeller Institute) paid for him to attend John Hopkins University. Also Frederick Gates was a minister and advisor for John D. Rockefeller. With his position he was able to get help through resources from Rockefeller to conduct research and make progress on the group’s mission.

When the Flexner Report was released during 1910 a large number of medical schools and hospitals closed or merged. Some doctors + physicians had their license taken and was even arrested. Most of the medical schools was rated defective with poor labs, limited clinical material, low admission standards and poor laboratory facilities. Medical education became a for-profit industry that’s producing a large amount of poorly trained physicians and doctors. When Flexner conducted research for the report only 16 out of 155 medical schools in the United States and Canada required applicants to have 2+ years of university education. His report affected naturopathy medicine, osteopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, homeopathy, electrotherapy and eclectic medicine. During 1904 there was 160 MD granting institutions with around 30,000 students total. During 1920 there was 85 MD granting institutions with around 14,000 students. By 1920 92% of U.S. medical schools implemented the Flexner Report requirements. Around the same time all colleges teaching electrotherapy was closed permanently. During 1935 there was 66 medical schools operating. A total of 57 medical schools was apart of the same university. More than half of the schools closed or merged during the 1900’s and only 2 African-American medical schools was left standing like Flexner wanted. Howard University and Meharry Medical College was the only schools accepting black students even though schools wasn’t allowed to do such. It was very difficult to obtain a medical license at the time due to the Flexner Report and Abraham Flexner saying black people posed a threat to the middle and upper class white people of america and other countries. This would contribute to the large gap of black doctors and physicians compared to white people.

Abraham Flexner | American educator | Britannica
Abraham Flexner

The Flexner Report Facts & Effects

  • Caused american medical schools to have higher graduation and admission standards.
  • Emphasized the need for remodeling and merging medical schools.
  • Stated the amount of doctors + medical schools at the time was too high.
  • Forced medical schools to standardize their curriculum.
  • Required physicians to have at least 6-8 years of post-secondary instruction.
  • Required research to stay within human physiology and biochemistry needs.
  • Stated no medical school should be created without approval from the government.
  • Stated medical schools will have control of clinical instruction in all hospitals.
  • Stated medical school should be four years.
  • Required American universities to have male-only programs.

“The practice of the Negro doctor will be limited to his own race, which in its turn will be cared for better by good Negro physicians than by poor white ones. But the physical well-being of the Negro is not only of moment to the Negro himself. Ten million of them live in close contact with sixty million whites. Not only does the Negro himself suffer from hookworm and tuberculosis; he communicates them to his white neighbors, precisely as the ignorant and unfortunate white contaminates him. Self-protection not less than humanity offers weighty counsel in this matter. The Negro must be educated not only for his sake, but for ours. He is, as far as the human eye can see, a permanent factor in the nation.” – Abraham Flexner

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