HILDRUS AUGUSTUS POINDEXTER, M.D., M.P.H., PH.D., D.SC.
May 10, 1901 – April 21, 1987
Hildrus Augustus Poindexter graduated cum laude in 1924 with his A.B. degree from Lincoln University in PA. He worked as a high school teacher in Oxford, NC prior to entering Dartmouth Medical School to complete the first two years of the medical curriculum. His excellence at Dartmouth earned him admission to Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA from which he received his M.D. in 1929. Poindexter worked briefly at the John A. Andrew Hospital at Tuskegee in AL before accepting a two-year fellowship from the General Education Board for study in preparation to joining the Howard Medical faculty as a full time member. His fellowship work was accomplished under Columbia University from which he received an A.M in Microbiology in 1930 and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 1932. Subsequently, he went on to earn a M.P.H in public Health and tropical medicine from Harvard in 1932. All of Poindexter’s educational accolades called upon throughout his career.
Poindexter joined the faculty of Howard University as an Assistant Professor in 1931. He eventually became Acting Head and then Head of his department in 1933 and 1936, respectively. He worked as an epidemioligists in Alabama, Mississippi, and throughout South America and the Caribbean. He entered military service in 1943 and had a very distinguished career as an expert on Malaria and other tropical diseases. His military service included serving as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (U.S.P.H.S.). While serving in the U.S.P.H.S. he was the chief of laboratory and medical research in West Africa and appointed director of the Mission To Liberia, whose goal was to help the Liberian government in Sanitation planning and the control of Infectious diseases. He then went on to serve in various other places such as Vietnam, Surinam, Iraq, Lybia, and Sierra Leone before returning to the faculty of Howard University. Poindexter published his autobiography, ''My World Of Reality'', in 1973 in which he candidly discusses his various life experiences including dealings with racial prejudice. More information is available from "Hildrus Augustus Poindexter, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., D.Sc., 1901-" by W. M. Cobb J Natl Med Assoc. 1973 May; 65(3): 243–247.