Black History Month - hospital doctor heroes: Dr John Alcindor

Dr Alcindor was born in Trinidad where he began his studies in Port of Spain. After securing a scholarship, he moved to Edinburgh to study medicine. He graduated from Edinburgh University in 1899, then worked in several London Hospitals before going into practice on his own.

His work through the Committee of the National Council for Combating Venereal Disease and honorary membership of the Anti-Tuberculosis Society illustrates the important contribution Dr Alcindor made to tackling tuberculosis and syphilis in Britain. Dr Alcindor became known by patients as the “black doctor of Paddington.”

The heroic efforts of Dr Alcindor in the first world war must be celebrated. As the war broke out, Dr Alcindor was eager to apply his skills for the benefit of the war effort through the Royal Army Medical Corps. Yet his application was rejected in 1914 on the basis of his “colonial origin.”

This senseless display of racism did not deter Dr Alcindor, who instead signed up as a British Red Cross volunteer. His work, tending to wounded soldiers upon their return to London train stations, earned him a Red Cross Medal and saved countless lives.

Dr Alcindor is also known for his activism on racial equality through his membership of the African Association, Pan-African Conference and African Progress Union.

Find out more about Dr John Alcindor: