Britt, 65, chairs the surgery department at
The academy was established in 1970 and has nearly 2,000 members who elect new members each year based on contributions to medical science and public health. As part of the
Britt graduated from one of the last segregated classes of
It was always his intent to return to his home community to practice medicine and mentor medical students, so he took a faculty post at EVMS in 1986. Britt is the first
He said he's happy to be included in what's been described as medicine's hall of fame, but is even more pleased that the school he's been at since 1986 is getting recognition and has a voice in the academy for the first time.
"I'm thrilled for the medical school," he said in a phone interview.
The academy crafts guidance on such diverse subjects as human gene editing, the obesity epidemic and national health policy. Britt will continue to advocate for one of his long-time concerns: reducing health-care disparities.
"There's a quality divide in America that is unacceptable," he said. "Forty-five thousand people die every year because they do not have health insurance."
He said that disparity is also obvious in the difference in life expectancy rates of Americans, and the number of minority doctors. Britt hosts an annual dinner to raise money for the
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