National Medical Association: Medicine in the Civil Rights Movement

Year Erected: 2022

Marker Text: The National Medical Association (NMA) was founded in 1895 when African-American physicians met at Atlanta’s Cotton States and International Exposition. Formally established here at First Congregational Church, the NMA served as a professional organization for Black medical professionals largely denied membership in the American Medical Association (AMA). From its inception, the NMA advocated for the racial equality of African-American physicians and patients. During the Civil Rights Movement, it campaigned for the desegregation of the AMA. The NMA supported integrationist public policies like the Social Security Acts amendments, which created Medicare and Medicaid. These acts required the enforcement of the Civil Rights Act, leading to the integration of facilities wherever federal funds were used, such as public hospitals. Today, the NMA remains an advocate for healthcare equality and is the oldest continuously existing medical society for African Americans.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, the Rich Foundation, the Georgia State Medical Association, and the Atlanta Medical Association

Tips for Finding This Marker: The marker is on John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE near the intersection of Courtland Street NE at the First Congregational Church at 105 Courtland Street.