Rachel B. Keith
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Rachel B. Keith


Burton Mercy, Detroit Memorial, and Sinai Hospitals


Rachel B. Keith

Dr. Rachel Keith was born in Monrovia, Liberia on May 30, 1924. Her parents were American medical missionaries Clinton C. Boone and Rachel Tharps Boone. The family returned to the United States in 1926, settled in Richmond, Virginia where she attended Armstrong High School, and graduated in 1938. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Houghton College in Houghton, New York in 1943.

Dr. Keith completed her medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine in 1949 and began her internship at Harlem Hospital in New York. She completed a 2-year residency in internal medicine at Detroit Receiving Hospital in 1953.

In 1954, Dr. Keith entered private practice with Dr. Thomas Batchelor at his newly built, five suite building on Conant and East Seven Mile Road. Her hospital affiliations included Burton Mercy, Detroit Memorial, and Sinai.

Dr. Keith is a member of the Wayne County Medical Society, Michigan State Medical Society, American Medical Association, Detroit Medical Society, Detroit Gastroenterological Society, and the National Medical Association.

Dr. Keith's civic activities include a life membership in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, sitting on the boards of the American Leprosy Mission, Detroit Science Center, and the symphony. From 1986 to 1993, she was on the Michigan Board of Medicine, which reviews regulatory problems with doctors. Dr. Keith is also a member of the Great Lakes Chapter of the Links.

Tape recorded interview;
Detroit, MI
16 July  1998
audio clip

Dr. Keith discusses some of the reasons why African Americans are reluctant to participate in research

I: Why do you think there is a reluctance on the part of African Americans to participate in research activities?

R: Well, I think there's some of the publicity, especially about the Tuskegee [Syphilis] Study. They feel they are being treated as guinea pigs and they don't want to be experimental guinea pigs. Blacks want the attention from their own private physician and they like the fact that they can communicate a little easier with people who understand their culture. For that reason, they tend to gravitate toward black physicians. But I sense recently that there is an upsurge of those who are willing to become patients [elsewhere] and especially [as] in [the] Karmanos [Cancer Institute] over here. There are a number of projects that are going on and the patients are very actively and enthusiastically registering with those.



William G. Anderson
Reginald P. Ayala
Arthur W Boddie
Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell
Henry C. Bryant Jr.
Alice Burton
Waldo L. Cain
James W. Collins
Claude and Vivienne Cooper
Gladys B. Dillard
George Gaines Jr.
Leon Gant
Herman J. Glass Sr.
Della Goodwin
Joseph B. Harris
Frank P. Iacobell
Horace L. Jefferson
Sidney B. Jenkins
Arthur Johnson
Rachel B. Keith
William E. Lawson
Josephine Love
Hayward Maben Jr.
Berna C. Mason
Suesetta T. McCree
Dorothy Mottley
David C. Northcross Jr.
Ophelia B. Northcross
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers
Frank P. Raiford III
Garther Roberson Jr.
S. L. Roberson
Elsie Smith
Fannie L. Starks
Lionel F. Swan
Natalia M. Tanner
Oretta Mae Todd
I. Clara Webb
Charles F. Whitten
Charles H. Wright
Watson Young


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Copyright , Kellogg African American Health Care Project, 2000.
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