Dr. Fred L. Lander, Jr. (1898-1941) Lynchburg Physician

Born in Chester, South Carolina, Dr. Fred Leonard Lander, Jr., graduated from Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith University) in Charlotte, North Carolina, and from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. After an internship at Good Samaritan Hospital in Charlotte, he began practicing medicine in Lynchburg in 1928.

Donated by Fred L. Lander III

Diploma of Dr. Fred L. Lander, Jr., 1924

Dr. Fred L. Lander, Jr., attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville, at the time one of only two medical schools for African Americans. The 1910 Flexner Report had found that among the institutions that trained black doctors, only the Meharry and Howard medical colleges were adequate. The Flexner Report also advocated the idea of black doctors for black patients, to help prevent the spread of disease from blacks to the white population.

Donated by Fred L. Lander III

Shingle of Dr. Fred L. Lander, Jr.

A veteran of World War I, Dr. Fred L. Lander, Jr., opened his office for the general practice of medicine at Fifth and Polk Streets in Lynchburg in 1928 and practiced there until his death in 1941.

Dr. Lander was one of the first African American physicians to use sulfa drugs to treat venereal diseases, a serious health problem during the 1930s, when three times as many Virginia blacks as whites died of syphilis.

The Tuskegee syphilis study, which allowed the disease to go untreated in the study’s subjects, began in 1932 and continued until 1972. The Tuskegee study was the most famous example of the use of African Americans as subjects for medical experiments. This practice made many African Americans suspicious of establishment health care.

Donated by Fred L. Lander III

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