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Exhibit at IU School of Medicine features contributions of African-American surgeons

Ruth Lilly Medical Library

Ruth Lilly Medical Library

INDIANAPOLIS — A traveling exhibit featuring African-American trailblazers of modern medical surgery is currently open to the public at the IU Ruth Lilly Medical Library on the Indiana University School of Medicine campus. Opening Doors: Contemporary African-American Academic Surgeons is a visual representation of critical contributions made by African-American academic surgeons to medicine and medical education.

Through historical and contemporary imagery, the seven-foot banner structure depicts the achievements and journeys of several African-American surgeons and educators, including four pioneers who exemplify excellence in their fields:

  • Alexa I. Canady, the first African-American woman pediatric neurosurgeon
  • LaSalle D. Leffall Jr., cancer surgeon and the first African-American president of the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society
  • Claude H. Organ Jr., general surgeon and the first African-American to chair a department of surgery at a predominantly white medical school
  • Rosalyn P. Scott, the first African-American woman cardiothoracic surgeon.

The exhibit, which is currently traveling the country, will be open to the public at the Indiana University Ruth Lilly Medical Library through Saturday, Nov. 7. The public may visit the exhibit free of charge from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays, and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

Opening Doors was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine—the largest medical library in the world—and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. For more information on the Opening Doors exhibit, visit