Intended for healthcare professionals


Arthur H Coleman

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 08 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:339

General practitioner who sought to boost opportunities for people from ethnic minorities

Arthur Coleman was one of the first black physicians in San Francisco and a celebrated healthcare and civil rights advocate. He campaigned not only for better services for his mainly African American patients, but also for more opportunities for young people from ethnic minorities to enter medicine.

He set up shop in one of San Francisco's most impoverished and problem ridden neighbourhoods in 1948. By the 1960s his practice had become a magnet for young, gifted African American medical specialists.

Born in urban Philadelphia, Coleman went to Penn State University largely through the determination of his mother, whose voice he heard at dusk every evening calling him in from the streets to study. When he entered Penn State in 1937, he was one of only 13 black students out of a student body of …

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