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Dr Jeanne Spurlock #BHMwithBWiS


Dr Jeanne Spurlock


July 1921 - November 1999




Spurlock was the oldest of 7 children to Frank and Glodene Spurlock.

Dr Jeanne Spurlock (Photo: Changing the Face of Medicine)


1940 Gained a scholarship to the Spelman College in Atlanta (later had to leave as she was unable to meet expenses)

1943 Accepted to Howard University's College of Medicine on an accelerated programme

1947 Graduated from Howard University

Scientific career

Spurlock had a very prominent and successful career as a child and adolescent psychiatrist. In 1950, Spurlock took up residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago where she later become a staff psychiatrist. From 1953 to 1968, Spurlock moved from rank to rank to become an assistant professor of psychiatry at Illinois College of Medicine whilst maintaining her private psychiatric practice.

Spurlock spent the majority of her career contributing to causing the medical community's attention to pay attention to poverty, secism, racism and discrimination that effects women and the lGBT community. Spurlock spent time focusing on addressing the challenges faced by groups that were often overlooked i.e. African-Americans experiencing 'survivor guilt' and children of absent father. She sat on may boards that addressed problems of sexism, racism and cultural misunderstandings amongst mental health professionals.


In 1971, Spurlock was awarded the Edward A Strecker MD Award for 'excellence in psychiatric care and treatment' from Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital. She was the first African-American and the first woman to win the award.

Member of the American Women's Medical Association (AMWA) and the Black Psychiatrists of America.

After her passing, two fellowships were created in her honour: the Jeanne Spurlock Research Fellowship in Drug Abuse and Addiction for Minority Medical Students and the Jeanne Spurlock Minority Medical Student Clinical Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In 2002, Dr Spurlock was posthumously awarded the Elizabeth Blackwell Award (one of the highest honours awarded by the AMWA.

Useful links

Dr Jeanne Spurlock (Changing the face of Medicine)

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