Black History Project

Dr. Regina Benjamin

Name: Regina M. Benjamin

DOB: October 26, 1956 (age 59)

Place of Birth: Mobile, Alabama

College/Degrees: Tulane University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Morehouse School of Medicine, Alabama School of Medicine

Accolades: Dr. Benjamin was the associate dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile. She also was the past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. In 1995, she was the first doctor under the age of 40 and the first African American female to be elected to the American medical Association Board of Trustees.

Benjamin also served as president of the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation, and as the chair of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

In 2002, she was the first black president of a state medical society in the US, as she assumed leadership of the Medical Association State of Alabama.

She was called by Time magazine as one of the Nation’s 50 Future Leaders Age 40 and Under, and she was featured in a 1995 New York Times article called Angel in a White coat. Benjamin was named Person of the Week on ABC’s World News Tonight, and Woman of the Year by CBS This Morning.

Dr. Benjamin received in 1998 the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human rights, and the 2000 National Caring Award, which was inspired by Mother Teresa.

On Friday, March 4, 2011, VADM Regina M. Benjamin, Surgeon General, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps), received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) 2011 Chairman’s Award during the nationally televised 42nd NAACP Image Awards program.

In the words of Regina Benjamin

“Prevention is the foundation of public health and prevention is the foundation of an effective health care system.”

“I've had numerous obstacles along the way, but I tend not to think of them as obstacles, but as just temporary challenges that I had to get through."