An award for black medical students honours a Toronto surgeon
With her family, Beverley created the Dr. J. Douglas Salmon Award for Black Medical Students in honour of her late husband. Douglas graduated from medicine at U of T in 1955, after earning a BA in 1951
Douglas was channelled into “commercial” courses in high school. He graduated at the top of his class, but wanted to attend university – so he went back to high school for two years in the evenings to get the subjects he needed. He worked during the day.
At U of T, he was one of only four black students in his medical school class. He received a scholarship, but to cover his expenses he also worked part-time. In second year, he was voted class president.
His family and friends knew what a struggle it was for him to pay his way through university. We also knew how much he benefited from the scholarship he received: he went on to become a very successful surgeon. We wanted to extend the same opportunity to students today.
Douglas and the other black medical students in his class really had to assert themselves to get a good placement, even though they all graduated in the top third of their class. I think even today black students have to prove themselves by working harder.”