In Honor of Black History Month, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Pays Tribute to Dr. Carolyn B. Britton

Date: February 25, 2010
Media Contact:

Rev. Alphonso Cohen, Director of Community Affairs
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
Phone: (646) 981-4519

New York, N.Y. – Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine honored Carolyn B. Britton, M.D., MS, on Thursday, February 18, 2010, in recognition of her vast accomplishments in medicine and her work in helping to secure equal medical treatment for minority populations and the medically underserved. The ceremony was held at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine at twelve noon.

Dr. Britton is renowned in the medical profession as an expert in neurology and infectious and inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system. She is noted as one of the first persons to describe the neurological consequences of HIV. Currently, she is associate professor of clinical neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, and associate attending physician at New York Presbyterian Medical Center.

Robert Goldberg, DO, dean of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, said that Dr. Britton is being recognized for her efforts in advocating for patients of all backgrounds.

“Over the past twenty years, Dr. Britton has advocated tirelessly for the funding of AIDS clinical trials, the training of minority and female clinical researchers, and the inclusion of minority populations and women in clinical trials,” Dean Goldberg said. “Her dedication has helped change the guidelines for federal clinical research, which now requires the inclusion of women and minorities.” 

In accepting the recognition award, Dr. Britton thanked the College and told the assembled audience of students, faculty and administration: “It matters not what we understand of science if we cannot translate that knowledge into effective health care.”

Dr. Goldberg said Dr. Britton’s remarks served as motivation for the next generation of physicians. “You have charged our students and ourselves to strive for excellence in all that we do. The need to advocate for our patients must be built on firm foundations of medical knowledge, and you have done much to reinforce these ideas.”

Rev. Alphonso Cohen, community liaison for Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, added: “The Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine is pleased to honor Dr. Britton not only for her many achievements in the medical field, but also for her dedicated work in helping to close the health divide.”

Dr. Britton is the Immediate past president of the National Medical Association, the nation’s oldest and largest medical association, which represents the interests of more than 30,000 African-American physicians and their patients. She was a member of former Manhattan Borough President Virginia C. Fields’ Commission to Close the Health Divide, which held public hearings to gather information on how to eliminate health disparities. Dr. Britton received her M.D. from New York University and completed her residency in internal medicine at Harlem Hospital Center before beginning her neurology residency and fellowship at the Neurological Institute of New York at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. She is board certified in neurology and internal medicine. In May 2008, Dr. Britton was one of 140 African-American physicians and surgeons identified by Black Enterprise magazine as one of America's leading doctors.

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine functions as an integral part of the New York City/Harlem community. The college works with the community, local schools, and other colleges and universities to promote the study of medicine; encourage continuing personal development, increase educational opportunities; and deliver osteopathic medical services in a variety of community settings. The College is committed to identifying and recruiting students who want to practice medicine in underserved communities, such as Harlem.