Pioneer in Arkansas Medicine passes away



Her funeral will be Saturday, July 27 in Houston.

Dr. Edith Jones memorial services will be on the 29 of July and be held in Hot Springs, AR. The burial will be right after the service at the Greenwood Cemetery in Hot Springs.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Dr. Edith Irby Jones was the first African American to enroll in the, at the time, all white medical school in the south UAMS – University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1948.

She was also the first African American to graduate from the school in 1952. She went on to practice medicine in Hot Springs before moving to Houston,Texas.

Doctor Cam Patterson the Chancellor at UAMS released this press release about Edith Jones and her accomplishments below.

News release:

Dear UAMS Supporters,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the news that Edith Irby Jones, M.D., passed away yesterday, July 15, at the age of 91.

Throughout her life, Dr. Jones was a pioneer. She enrolled at UAMS in 1948, becoming the first African American to enroll in an all-white medical school in the South. In 1952, she graduated from UAMS, another historic first. She practiced for six years in Hot Springs before moving to Houston, where she became the first African American admitted to the internal medicine residency at a Baylor College of Medicine-affiliated hospital. Then, in 1985, she became the first woman president of the National Medical Association.

Last year, the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs, the UAMS Library and Historical Research Center, the UAMS College of Medicine and the college’s Office of Faculty Affairs sponsored three events to honor Dr. Jones’ legacy. We were honored that she was able to attend one of the events, and I consider myself fortunate that I was able to talk with her for a few minutes. She was a tremendous woman, and she opened so many doors for minority students. We are forever in her debt.

I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to Dr. Jones’ family and to all those here at UAMS who counted her as a mentor and friend.


Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA
UAMS Chancellor

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