Dr. Sayde Curry was the first African American woman to become a gastroenterologist in the United States, and the only African American to train in the gastroenterology fellowship program at Duke University.
Curry was born in Reidsville, North Carolina and was the youngest of four children born to Limmer Palmer and Charlie Will Curry, Jr. Curry knew as a young child that she wanted to follow in the steps of her brothers and become a doctor.
She attended the public schools in Reidsville, and after high school graduation in 1959 went to Johnson C. Smith University, a small Presbyterian school in Charlotte, North Carolina. She later earned a B.S. degree there in 1963, with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. After graduating from college, she worked as research technician in the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
Curry later enrolled at Howard University to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor. She graduated with the centennial class of 1967 and later completed an internship in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center. She also did a residency in internal medicine at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Under the advice of her mentor, Curry considered a training in gastroenterology and returned to Duke University as a fellow in gastroenterology and an instructor in medicine. She participated in research related to bile acid metabolism and liver transport mechanisms.
Dr. Curry was the first African American to train in the Duke gastroenterology fellowship program. She was also the first African American woman postgraduate trainee at Duke University Medical Center. In 1975, Dr. Curry received the Howard University College of Medicine Student Council Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Curry was also the founding member and has served as president of the Leonidas Berry Society for Digestive Diseases, a national organization of minority gastroenterologists, basic scientists, and general surgeons.
Original Article found at: