Dr Roland Scott (j. 6/1965; d. 2002) was an international medical expert who was a leader in the area of sickle cell disease long before the disease was recognized. He was the first chief and chair of the Pediatrics Department in Howard ‘s College of Medicine and one of the first two African-American fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
He published hundreds of articles on sickle cell disease, spent years lobbying Congress to pass the National Sickle Cell Control Act of 1972 and was the founding director of Howard’s Center for Sickle Cell Disease, the first center in the country devoted to the disease.
Dr. Scott’s career was complicated by racial segregation during the 1930s and 1940s, when he was repeatedly denied membership in the American Academy of Pediatrics and unable to join either his local chapter of the American Medical Association or gain admitting privileges at local hospitals. A formal apology for its racist past was finally issued by the Academy of Pediatrics in July 2020, eighty years after it had repeatedly rejected Scott’s membership.
Dr. Scott received a bachelor’s and medical degree from Howard University. He did his pediatric residency at Provident Hospital in Chicago and stayed on as a fellow in pediatrics at the University of Chicago and Chicago Municipal Hospital for Contagious Diseases from 1936 to 1939. He received the American Academy of Pediatrics’s Jacobi Award for significant contributions in child health and pediatrics education and was named a “pioneer in sickle cell research and care” by the Advisory Board of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.
CNN article on AAP’s apology to Dr. Scott