For the first time in 157 years, the Mississippi State Medical Association has selected a black physician to head its organization. The 5,000-member medical group has selected Dr. Claude Brunson as its president-elect. Dr. Brunson is currently senior adviser to the vice chancellor for external affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Brunson will assume his responsibilities next year, the same year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. Ironically, 50 years prior to Dr. Brunson’s appointment, the white president-elect of the medical association opposed the hiring of black physicians in Mississippi hospitals. The decision sparked mass protests of black physicians and nurses.

Little Known Black History Fact: Dr. Claude Brunson  was originally published on

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