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Ann Als, MD

Class of 1970

    Ann Als was the first African American female graduate of Albany Medical College. Ann took a non-traditional route to medical school. At the age of 25 and amid marriage and motherhood, Ann went to school at Boston University for her premedical studies. When it was time to apply to medical school, she persevered through multiple rejections due to her age. “My contention was, it’s never too late to do something you want to do,” she said in a 1988 interview with Lear’s Magazine, “You have only one life.”
     Following her graduation from Albany Medical College in 1970 she completed her residency at Albany Hospital followed by a position as Assistant Radiologist at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. She was also a member of the Harvard Medical School Faculty as an Assistant Professor of Radiology and served on its Admissions Committee.
     In 1988, Dr. Als joined the Summit, New Jersey, lab of Ciba-Geigy, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the United States. At Ciba-Geigy she served as the Associate Director in Clinical Biology and was charged with developing research protocols to test the safety and efficacy of various drugs. In 1993, as the Associate Director of Berlex Laboratories Endocrinology and Fertility Control Section (NJ), she returned to Albany Medical College to deliver the keynote address for Black History Month. The series of events, including the keynote address, in observance of the special month was organized by the Student National Medical Association. Dr. Als’ address was titled, “Portrait of the African American Female Physician; Then and Now.”
     Dr. Als has been recognized with the Women in Medicine Series at Harvard Medical School and with an American Heart Association Leadership Award. She served as a trustee with the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY and as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Affiliate of the American Heart Association. She is currently retired.
     In an interview with the Knickerbocker News in 1973, Dr. Als said her goal for the future is a simple one: “to meet other people, both black and white and show them that we all have common goals. I would like to see,” she continued, “more women and more blacks in medicine. I would like to spend time talking with young people and encouraging them.” (The Knickerbocker News, February 8, 1973). Dr. Als’ daughter, Joanne Als, is a 1986 Albany Medical College alumna.

 

(Ann Als, MD)

Albany Medical College Alumni Association
47 New Scotland Avenue, MC-5 · Albany, New York 12208-3412 · (518) 262-5033 · AMCAlumni@amc.edu

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