Vanessa Northington Gamble M.D., Ph.D.

University Professor of Medical Humanities
George Washington University
Email: Discipline: Medicine, History Expertise: Health Care Inequalities

Investigator Award
Race, Racism, and American Medicine
Award Year: 1999 Dr. Gamble examines the relationship of African Americans to the U.S. medical system in the twentieth century. She explores: 1) historical and continuing influences of race and racism on the development of American medicine; 2) how concepts of race and interpretations of racial differences have evolved and their implications in contemporary medical practices and health policy; 3) how racial attitudes influence medical theory and practice, and the resulting impact on racial attitudes; 4) strategies and institutions that are available to African Americans to address medical inequities; 5) the experiences and contributions of African American health care providers; and 6) the experiences of African American patients. The results of her work will help inform the policy debate about racial inequalities in health care.


Vanessa Northington Gamble is University Professor of Medical Humanities and professor of health policy and american civilization at George Washinton University. Previously, Dr. Gamble was director of the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. The Center, the only bioethics center at an historically black college university, focuses on bioethics, minority health, and public health. The Center was established in 1999 as a result of President Clinton's apology for the United States Public Health Syphilis Study. Dr. Gamble chaired the committee that took the lead role in the campaign to obtain the apology. At Tuskegee, Dr. Gamble was also a professor of bioethics in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health at Tuskegee University. A physician and medical historian, she is an internationally recognized expert on the history of race and racism in American medicine, racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care, cultural competence, diversity, and bioethics. Dr. Gamble is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.