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Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons home banner written in yellow and black text. Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons home banner written in yellow and black text. Pioneers written in black text with a light blue background. Above the text is an image of three surgeons standing in an operating room performing surgery with several nurses and attendants observing.  Courtesy Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. Contemporary Pioneers written in white text with a purple background. Above the text is an image of Alexa Canady preparing for surgery. Courtesy Detroit Free Press/Hugh Glannum. New Frontiers written in black text with a blue background. bove the text is an image of a head shot of a women surgeon wearing a mask, cap and protective eyewear.  Courtesy Sharon Henry, M.D. and Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems. History written in black text with a yellow background. Above the text is an image of an illustration of a building with a flag flying at the top. Courtesy National Library of Medicine.

In any kind of goal that you set for your life... what's important is determination written in white text with a purple background

Portrait style photograph of a woman in a black dress wearing pearls.  Courtesy Rosalyn P. Scott, M.D, M.S.H.A. Dr. Scott is dedicated to finding ways to encourage and inspire young African American physicians and surgeons, especially women. She encourages them to aspire to levels they never thought possible in spite of gender and racial obstacles they face.


Rosalyn P. Scott, M.D., M.S.H.A. (1950- ) is a leading cardiothoracic surgeon and educator.


Born in Newark, New Jersey, Rosalyn had many medical influences growing up including her father who was a dentist, and an uncle who was a thoracic surgeon. At a young age, Rosalyn recognized the contributions that her father and uncle made helping people, and she dreamed of a time when she could do the same. During her school years she enjoyed science and had aspirations to become a doctor. She was often met with racism and sexism, but this did not diminish her determination to become a physician.

Three women in medical coats and scrubs with stethoscopes standing behind a desk.  Courtesy Rosalyn P. Scott, M.D, M.S.H.A.Rosalyn received her undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and went on study medicine at New York University School of Medicine.

She became the first African American woman to train in thoracic surgery when she was accepted as a resident at Boston University Medical Center in 1977, and completed her general and thoracic surgery residencies in New York at St. Clare's Hospital and Health Center, and New York Medical College.One woman and two men in surgical scrubs and mask performing surgery.  Courtesy Rosalyn P. Scott, M.D, M.S.H.A.

After completing her residencies, Dr. Scott spent several years in Houston. She was the first Mary A. Fraley Fellow in cardiovascular surgical research at the Texas Heart Institute and remained in Houston as an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Texas Medical School.

Image of woman in white medical coat standing at a lectern.  Courtesy Rosalyn P. Scott, M.D, M.S.H.A.In 1983, she was appointed assistant professor of surgery at UCLA and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles where she currently serves as associate professor and vice chair of the department of surgery and chief of the division of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. She has served as associate director of the general surgery residency program, vice-chair for research and academic affairs in the department of surgery, and director of the Drew Surgical Research Group.

In 1994, Dr. Scott received a Master of Science in Health Administration degree from the University of Colorado College of Business. She has served as president of Women in Thoracic Surgery and is a founding member of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons.

Man in tuxedo and woman in formal wear standing together.   Courtesy Rosalyn P. Scott, M.D, M.S.H.A.

Dr. Scott strives to influence policy and practice to ensure that they reflect the needs and issues of both majority and minority populations in medical education and health care through her participation in professional organizations and her administrative role at the university level.


Dr. Scott with Dr. Claude H. Organ, Jr. (above) at a Society of Black Academic Surgeons event.
Dr. Scott was invited by Dr. Organ to author the chapter on the female black surgeon for
A Century of Black Surgeons: The U.S.A. Experience.

Dr. Scott is currently professor of surgery at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, and Chief of Surgical Services at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Through her pursuits in research, teaching, administration, and clinical practice, she has built a well-rounded academic career dedicated to excellence and committed to passing her knowledge and passion on to younger physicians and surgeons.

  • B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, 1970
  • M.D., New York University School of Medicine, 1974
  • Residency general and thoracic surgery, St. Clare's Hospital and Health Center and New York Medical College, 1974-77
  • Residency thoracic surgery, Boston University Medical Center, 1977-79
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery – University of Texas Medical School, 1981-83
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, 1983-87

  • Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science:
    • Assistant Professor of surgery, 1983-90
    • Associate Professor of surgery, 1990
    • Associate Director, General Surgery Residency Program, 1990-97
    • Vice-Chair for Research and Academic Affairs, Department of Surgery, 1991-97
    • Director, Drew Surgical Research Group, 1993-97
    • Interim Program Director, General Surgery Residency Program, 2003-2004
    • Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, 2003-2007

  • Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio
    • Professor of Surgery and Chief of Surgical Services 2007 - present

  • Arizona State University:
    • Associate Research Professor, School of Health Administration and Policy, College of Business, 1994-97
    • Adjunct Professor, School of Health Administration and Policy, College of Business, 1998-2001

  • Master of Science in Health Administration, University of Colorado College of Business, 1994