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Dr. Robert Chapman Wesley, Sr. (1912-1983) Lynchburg Physician

Dr. Robert C. Wesley, Sr., was born in Crozet, Virginia, and attended school there and at St. Paul’s Academy in Lawrenceville. His education having been interrupted by the Depression, he graduated from Meharry Medical College in 1945 and interned at Harlem Hospital before starting his practice in Lynchburg in 1947.

Donated by Centra Health

Doctor’s Bag Dr. Robert C. Wesley, Sr.

Dr. Robert C. Wesley, Sr., practiced in Lynchburg for thirty years. He held memberships in the American Academy of General Practice, the American Medical Association, the Medical Society of Virginia, the National Medical Society, the Lynchburg Academy of Medicine, and the Hill City Medical Society. In 1965-66 he was president of the Old Dominion Medical Society.

Loaned by Gloria Cannady

Commencement Program and Photograph, 1945 Meharry Medical College

Loaned by Gloria Cannady

Letter, date unknown Dr. Robert C. Wesley, Sr., to Lynchburg General Hospital Staff

In this undated draft of a letter to the medical staff at Lynchburg General Hospital, Dr. Robert C. Wesley, Sr., argued that three black physicians himself, Dr. Leon M. Braswell, and Dr. R. Walter Johnson be granted the privilege of treating their private patients at the hospital. The letter must have been written before 1958, the year Dr. Braswell retired.

In 1948 Lynchburg’s black doctors had been granted “limited privileges” at Lynchburg General. These privileges included restriction to the “two Negro floors” and the practice of assigning “in name” a “white physician who will relay orders from Negro doctors.”

Not until the mid-1960s did Dr. Wesley, Dr. R. Walter Johnson, and Dr. Ralph Boulware succeed in gaining the privilege of directly treating their own patients at Lynchburg General Hospital.

Copy donated by Gloria Cannady

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