Barbados Born and First Black Female Transplant Surgeon Gives Advice on Overcoming Obstacles

Apr 17, 2016
1 min read
Please go to your Post editor » Post Settings » Post Formats tab below your editor to enter video URL.

Dr. Velma Scantlebury was born in Barbados in 1955. She then later emigrated with her mother and father to the US.

Dr. Scantlebury completed her fellowship training in transplantation surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and became an assistant professor of surgery in 1989.

In the video below, Dr. Scantlebury shares her thoughts about overcoming obstacles.

In 1989 Dr. Velma Scantlebury-White became America’s first black female transplant surgeon. In her 16 years at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and subsequently at the University of Southern Alabama (USA),

Velma Scantlebury fought to gain respect and credibility as an aspiring doctor and surgeon in a field largely dominated by white males.

Scantlebury dedicated herself to increasing the number of kidney transplants for black patients. She took the lead in educating black Americans about donating organs and tissues for transplantation, and as of 2007, she had performed more than 800 cadaver and 200 living-donor transplant surgeries in children and adults. Scantlebury had coauthored more than 100 research publications, monographs, and book chapters and was twice named one of the America’s Best Doctors.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Scantlebury gave frequent presentations and lectures at professional meetings and public forums and was often interviewed for documentaries and radio and TV programs. In 2007 she was featured in an exhibition by the National Library of Medicine and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.

Story courtesy of

Richard Williams

Co-founder of, a passionate believer in the greatness of the Caribbean and its people. Fan of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Garnet Silk.

Latest from Blog