Vivien Thomas Accomplishments

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One of the most important men in medicine is often forgotten due to the lack of recognition he received because of his skin color. It all started in 1930, when Vivien applied for a job in a surgical research lab in Vanderbilt University, because he had lost his life savings during the stock market crash of 1929. When applying, he was told that the only drawback was a tough to please employer named Alfred Blalock. He eventually was given a job, but was only paid like a janitor and only earned $12 a week, instead of his old $20 a week salary. However, he kept the job because he thought of it as temporary. Soon after entering his new job, he was given a task by Alfred Blalock, who needed assistance. The task was to help Dr. Blalock find a way to treat traumatic shock. Vivien never earned a medical degree, so he used his smartness and little…show more content…
He was a hard worker, and his contributions to the medical world helped thousands of children across the world. He had an incredible work ethic, and he strived to be the best at what he did. He never gave up, in fact when he met an obstacle, he looked for a way to overcome it. Vivien Thomas faced many challenges along the way, such as racism and stereotypes, but he didn’t let them bother him. In Breakthrough! by Jim Murphy, Dr. Levi Watkins, a former student of Thomas’ said, “[Vivien Thomas] is the most un-talked about, unappreciated, unknown giant in the African American community. What he helped facilitate impacted people all over the world.” These two sentences describe Vivien Thomas perfectly. He was a self-made man, who yearned to learn more about medicine, and he didn’t let poverty stop him. He turned his temporary job into a legacy for many more African Americans to follow. To sum up, Vivien Thomas is one the most important cardiac surgeons in history, and we shouldn’t let his skin color get in the way of his amazing
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