Even before Winston Churchill coined the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Great Britain, this unsung hero of medicine established blood ties between the two countries.
Charles Drew was born in Washington D.C. in 1904. An African American, Charles was raised in a segregated city where black people had few opportunities for economic advancement. Yet Charles had one advantage: he was gifted at sports. By winning medals as a swimmer, Charles gained entrance into Dunbar High School, the only black school in the District of Columbia that paid its teachers as well as their white counterparts.
His athletic skill went on to earn him a scholarship to New England's prestigious Amherst College, where Charles was indeed a star – of both the track and American football teams. But sports was not Charles' only talent. He also dreamed of becoming a medical doctor.
Sometimes the drive to discover and record your observations can outlive you.
For more than a thousand years, doctors from Spain to Persia looked to one man to define what it meant to practice medicine: Galen.
Galen of Pergamum was born around 129 A.D. He was Greek but grew up in Anatolia, in modern-day Turkey. Descendants of Plato and Aristotle, the Greeks were renowned in the Ancient World for their skill in science and art.
Galen's father was a wealthy architect. He saw to it that Galen received the finest education in philosophy, literature and medicine. As a boy, Galen studied the renowned work of the Greek doctor Hippocrates who, already 500 years before, had established medicine as a profession. His famous Hippocratic Oath -- a promise taken by physicians throughout history to uphold specific principles of medical ethics -- remains of paramount significance in the health professions to this day.
When Galen was 19 his father passed away. Galen decided to use his inheritance to follow the advice of his hero...