Frank P. Raiford, III
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Frank P. Raiford III


Trinity and Boulevard General Hospitals


Frank P. Raiford, III

Dr. Frank Raiford, III, a native Detroiter, was born on December 25, 1919. His parents are Dr. Frank P. Raiford, Jr. and Lulu Alberta Watts Raiford. His father was one of the co-founders of Trinity Hospital. The hospital was established in 1934 at E. Congress and DuBois Streets in Detroit. In 1942, the hospital expanded to a 140-bed facility and moved to 681 E. Vernor.

Dr. Raiford, III attended Eastern High School and graduated in 1936. After graduation, he enrolled in the University of Michigan and earned the bachelor's degree in 1940 and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1943. After completing his internship at Cleveland City Hospital, Dr. Raiford, III was drafted into the Army.

He returned to Detroit in 1946 and began working at Trinity Hospital as both a practitioner and a part-time administrator for the next ten years. Dr. Raiford, III also returned to school and earned an MBA degree in 1961.

Around that same time, he was part of a group of investors that purchased and refurbished the old Resthaven Convalescent Hospital on West Grand Blvd. and renamed it Boulevard General Hospital. In 1974, Boulevard General merged with three other small hospitals to form Southwest Detroit Hospital, which closed in 1991.

Dr. Raiford, III is a member of the Detroit Medical Society, Wayne County Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. He is a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Currently, Dr. Raiford, III continues to practice family medicine in Detroit, Michigan.

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

Dr. Raiford talks about his educational experiences at the University of Michigan

I: Why did you decide to go to the University of Michigan?

R: I guess because my father went there. He took me to Boston to see about Harvard. I didn't like the way those folks acted. I told him, "I don't want to go there." So, I just went on to the University of Michigan. They said nothing more about it.

I: And once you were at the University of Michigan, what were some of your experiences there?

R: I was the only one in my class [who] was black.

I: And what class was that?

R: All the way through!

I: And what class was that? The class of what year?

R: I graduated in 1940.

I: 1940. And you were the only one for your whole-how many years? Four years or five years?

R: All total, seven years. Medical school and [undergraduate] school. The only one.

I: How did that make you feel, being the only one all the time?

R: I didn't think too much about it. I said, "So what?" You get accustomed to that.

I: Were your colleagues curious about you?

R: Who? Some of them were, yes.

I: Do you recall some of the things they would ask or inquire about?

R: I don't remember them asking too much because they weren't that friendly.

I: Oh, okay. What about your professors?

R: Oh, you want to know about my professors? I still remember dear old Dr. Weller, or Walter, or whatever his name was-[the] pathology professor. Three damn years that man, at every occasion, said, "The totality of human germ plasma is going down because too many of the wrong people are having too many babies." Translation-too many black people having babies. Then I go to my first class in dermatology, I think it was. The professor up and starts off, "All Negroes have syphilis."

I: Did you volunteer to take a test?

R: You do not. Back then, you didn't question any professor about anything. They were always right. Didn't bug me at all. I wasn't bothered at all, except I think I got mad enough to get an 'A' in the course.

I: Oh, okay. So you just redirected your anger in other ways? But, that had to upset you. I mean, somebody saying something like that.

R: You get used to it. After all, they're white and you're black.


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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