The Association of Black Cardiologists

A Small-Group Success Story
  • Richard Allen Williams


Thirty-three years ago, the author founded an organization consisting primarily of African American cardiologists, and named it the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) at its inaugural meeting in Dallas, TX. The author was joined in this effort by about 12 other cardiologists attending the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association, and all of them agreed that the cardiovascular needs of blacks were unmet and were not being adequately addressed by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and other prominent medical groups. Considering high blood pressure as an example, despite the fact that it was recognized that this cardiovascular disease disproportionately affected the African American population, little was being done to increase awareness of this fact or to bring blacks to medical attention for treatment of this devastating disease. In addition, stroke, often a consequence of hypertension, was uncontrolled and was having destructive effects in blacks; and coronary heart disease was not generally believed to be an important cause of illness in this population, although most black cardiologists believed that it was. They were also concerned about the shortage of African Americans trained to treat cardiovascular disease, and one of the mandates was and is to spur efforts to increase the number (at that time, it was estimated that there were only a few dozen black cardiologists in the country compared with thousands of predominantly white cardiovascular specialists, and they could count only eight fellows in training programs).


American Heart Association Isosorbide Dinitrate Annual Scientific Session Beauty Salon Inaugural Meeting 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Allen Williams
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAUSA
  2. 2.The Minority Health Institute, Inc.USA
  3. 3.Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural and Minority MedicineLos Angeles

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