Myra Adele Logan, M.D.

‌First woman to perform open heart surgery and first African American woman elected a fellow to the American College of Surgeons

Myra Adele Logan, M.D., graduated from New York Medical College with an M.D. in 1933. She was the inaugural recipient of the Walter Gray Crump Sr., M.D., Scholarship, created in 1928 specifically to support minority medical students.

After graduation, Dr. Logan became an associate surgeon at Harlem Hospital, where she spent the majority of her medical career. She was also a visiting surgeon at Sydenham Hospital and maintained a private practice.

In 1943, she became the first woman to perform open heart surgery in the ninth operation of its kind performed anywhere in the world.  She was also the first African American woman elected a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Logan’s other achievements include development of antibiotics, including Aureomycin; work on early detection and treatment of breast cancer; and efforts to develop an x-ray processes to more accurately detect differences in tissue density, allowing tumors to be discovered earlier.

Dr. Logan was a founding partner and treasurer of the Upper Manhattan Medical 

Group of the Health Insurance Plan (HIP), one of the first group practices in the United States. She also worked with the NAACP’s Health Committee, the New York State Fair Employment Practices Committee, the National Cancer Committee and Planned Parenthood. She was a member of the New York State Commission on Discrimination during then New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey’s administration. In 1944, she resigned from the commission with seven other members after Dewey shelved antidiscrimination legislation they had drafted.

Dr. Logan was also an accomplished classical pianist. She retired in 1970 and later served on the New York State Workmen’s Compensation Board. 

She passed away on January 13, 1977, at the age of 68.