Barbara Ross-Lee, has worked in private practice, for the U.S. Public Health Service, and on numerous committees, and in 1993 was the first African-American woman to be appointed dean of a United States medical school.
1. Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1942, and raised in a housing project, Barbara Ross-Lee faced discrimination as a young African American woman.
2. Growing up in inner city Detroit, she and her sister, Diana Ross, shared a fondness for show business, performing with their brothers and sisters in the church choir.
3. Began her pre-medical studies at Detroit’s Wayne State University in 1960, during the growth of the Civil Rights movement.
4. Graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry in 1965 and, abandoning her original goal of practicing medicine went on to train as a teacher.
5. Joined the National Teacher Corps, a federal program, in which she could earn a degree while teaching simultaneously in the Detroit public school system.
6. Applied and was accepted to Michigan State University in osteopathic medicine in Pontiac.
7. Needed help with childcare to be able to focus on her studies, so she sold her house and moved in with her own mother.