Dr. Watson Young, M.D.
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Watson Young


Watson Young
Born in Abbeville, South Carolina on September 27, 1915, Dr. Watson Young's father traveled to Detroit with his family in 1923 in search of economic opportunity. Dr. Young lived in Inkster, but had the opportunity to go to Dearborn High School from which he graduated in 1934. For almost a year following graduation, Dr. Young worked at the Ford Motor Company in order to earn money to go to college. He enrolled at Eastern Michigan University (then Michigan Normal College) as a music major. Realizing his talents lay elsewhere, he changed his major to pre-med and graduated in 1938. That fall, Dr. Young enrolled in The University of Michigan Medical School and graduated in 1942.

Upon graduating, Dr. Young realized that, because he was black, he would be unable to get an internship at any of the medical institutions in the state of Michigan. Counselors at the University of Michigan advised him to apply elsewhere and he accepted an internship at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Though he was asked to remain at Homer G. Phillips for a residency, Dr. Young returned to Detroit in 1943, eager to begin a private practice. Dr. Guy Saulsberry of Kirwood Hospital provided him the opportunity to work in his hospital and out of his office. After six months of this arrangement, Dr. Young opened his own office in his parents' home in Inkster. By the late 1940's, Young realized he really needed the training and experience a residency would provide; he returned to Homer G. Phillips in 1949 and completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1952.

In 1950, Dr. Young was drafted by the Army for service in Korea. Because of his residency program, he was able to delay entry into the Army until 1954. He served two years in the medical corps. in Texas, entering as a major. Following his service in the Army, he returned to Detroit where he continued in private practice, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Young has been a member of the National Medical Association, the Detroit Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He retired from practicing medicine in 1980.

Tape recorded interview;
Belleville, MI
24 April  1997
audio clip
The following excerpt represents Opinions/Observations regarding the demise of black proprietary hospitals and whether integration caused that:

Yes, it caused the demise of black hospitals in Detroit and everywhere there was a black or has been a black hospital, because of the fact that, once you had access to good treatment, you did not want to take your patient where it was not available, and your patient did not want to go to places where they had some idea that it may not be as good as it could be; because once they got an opportunity to see what best was, what good was, then what they had been used to was no longer acceptable, to the doctors or to the patient. And then they, the requirements of the hospital became more rigid.


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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