Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



Committee Chair

Ronald Platt

Committee Member

Colton D. Cockrum

Committee Member

Wendy Griswold

Committee Member

Verner D. Mitchell


The purpose of this historical research is to explore and document through biographical inquiry the contributions Dr. Miles Vandahurst Lynk had on African American access to medical higher education in the American south at the turn of the twentieth century, when African Americans faced economic and political obstacles because of racism and discrimination. Lynk’s effect on African American education was not limited to just one mode of educational advancement, but it was tripartite in nature. He advanced African American higher education through the founding of the University of West Tennessee, the publication of The Medical Surgical Observer, and co-founded the National Medical Association. By delving into all three of his primary contributions to medical higher education, this research project adds to the historical narrative that chronicles the advancements of African Americans in medical higher education by focusing on Lynk’s actions that improved access to medical higher education for African Americans and how those actions had a lasting impact. Documenting Lynk and the multi-faceted impact he had on higher medical education will serve to preserve his contributions and add to the historical narrative that records medical higher education. As educational and community leaders continue to address the disparity that exists in African American enrollments in medical higher education, this research can illuminate how medical education has arrived in its present state. Lynk’s story provides both the struggle and the success of Black medical higher education, and should serve as a source of inspiration for those who may face obstacles themselves. Additional research could include Lynk’s impact not only on the medical community during his lifetime, but the impact it continues to have today. While the bulk of Lynk’s work was in medical higher education, Lynk did serve the Black community in other capacities that warrant further investigation. Researching the impact these educational contributions had on the Black community could be beneficial to the historical narrative of the African American community as well as serving towards providing a complete picture of the impact Lynk had during his lifetime.


Data is provided by the student.”

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Embargoed until 12/3/2023