Celebrating Black History Month: Solomon Carter Fuller

Solomon Carter Fuller, an early 20th century psychiatrist, researcher, and medical educator, was born on August 11, 1872 in Monrovia, Liberia. Solomon Carter Fuller was the first African American psychiatrist and did much research concerning degenerative diseases of the brain.

FullerΓÇÖs major contribution was to the growing clinical knowledge of AlzheimerΓÇÖs disease. As part of his post-graduate studies at the University of Munich, Fuller researched pathology and specifically neuropathology. In 1903 Fuller was one of the five foreign students chosen by Alois Alzheimer to do research at the Royal Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Munich.

You can read the translated text of some of Fuller’s notes here.

Fuller faced discrimination in the medical field in the form of unequal salaries and underemployment. His duties often involved performing autopsies, an unusual procedure for that era. While performing these autopsies Fuller made discoveries which allowed him to advance in his career as well contribute to the scientific and medical communities.

In a picture attached to this article, you can see Fuller standing along side distinguished  psychologists and psychoanalysts at a 1909 Clark University Conference.

Fuller moved to Boston in 1919 to teach full time at Boston UniversityΓÇÖs medical school. He corresponded with Freud and took courses with William James. Fuller retired from the medical school in 1933, although he continued his practice as a neurologist, psychiatrist and physician. He died in 1953.

In 1974, the Black Psychiatrists of America created the Solomon Carter Fuller Program for young black aspiring psychiatrists to complete their residency.

AlzTex Admin

The Alzheimer's Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter (www.alz.org/texas) consists of families, caregivers, scientists, health professionals, and concerned citizens who are committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease and to easing the burden of Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders on patients and their families and loved ones.