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  • Large multiracial group of men and women holding signs and marching on a street towards viewer
    Medical civil rights activists march, 1963

    Medical Committee for Civil Rights participates in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

    Many physicians, nurses, and medical students worked in the civil rights movement. They marched against segregation, treated people injured in protests, and helped set up community clinics in both the North and the South.

  • 7 White and African American men and women in laboratory, some working and some talking.
    Clinical lab at Delta Health Center, 1970

    Clinical lab at Delta Health Center, Jackson, MS, 1970

    Courtesy Daniel Bernstein/Jack Geiger

    Shocked at the poor health conditions in the South, physicians from the Medical Committee for Human Rights helped local residents in rural Mississippi open the Delta Health Center, one of the first community-controlled health clinics in the nation.

  • Text filled telegram.
    Telegram about protesting denial of treatment for wounded marchers, 1965

    Telegram to Leonidas Berry from the Medical Committee for Human Rights denouncing police refusal to allow ambulances and physicians to assist the injured at the Selma to Montgomery march, 1965

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

    Police temporarily stopped doctors and nurses from treating the injured at the Selma march.

  • Text filled telegram.
    Telegram urging doctor participation in march, 1965

    Telegram from the Medical Committee for Human Rights to Leonidas Berry, MD, president-elect of the National Medical Association, urging physicians to participate in the Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights, 1965

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

    Physicians initially joined the Selma, Alabama voting rights protests to offer moral support, but soon found themselves providing first aid to marchers injured by tear gas and beatings.