Hayward Maben, Jr.
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Hayward Maben Jr.


Detroit Receiving and Harper Hospitals



Hayward Maben, Jr.

Dr. Hayward Maben, Jr. was born on June 3, 1922 in Augusta, Georgia to Ethel Marie and Hayward C. Maben, Sr. He completed his medical training at Meharry Medical College in 1945.

In 1958, he became one of the first three blacks to be accepted into the Wayne State University School of Medicine's surgery residency training program, but transferred out of the program after one year. He completed his training at Meharry Medical College in 1963. He was certified in general surgery in 1964 and in thoracic-cardiovascular surgery in 1965 following a residency in Chicago. At that time, Dr. Maben was the fifth African American in the country to achieve such certification.

Dr. Maben was able to secure an immediate appointment in the Children's Hospital of Michigan's cardiovascular surgery department and was given conditional surgical privileges at Harper Hospital in 1967. After securing his appointment at Highland Park General in 1969, following pressure from a black activist group in that city, Dr. Maben received appointments at Providence, Grace, and Sinai Hospitals-the latter came as conditional privileges-between 1970 and 1973. In the meantime, he was on the surgical staffs at the following black propriety hospitals: Boulevard General, Burton Mercy, and Sumby Memorial Hospitals.

Although Dr. Maben instituted complaints about not being granted full privileges at the major white hospitals based on his training to the Wayne County Medical Society, Michigan Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, little or nothing was actually done until 1981.

Dr. Maben is a member of the Wayne County Medical Society, Michigan State Medical Society, and Michigan Thoracic Surgeons Society. He is an emeritus member of both the National Medical Association and the Detroit Medical Society. He has also been very active with the Detroit Cotillion Club and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Tape recorded interview;
Detroit, MI
14 September  1998
audio clip

Dr. Maben discusses some of his professional medical experiences

I: So, once you came back to Detroit, what was your strategy?

R: Well, after I learned that they didn't need me down at Meharry Medical College-they couldn't afford me (I guess would be a better word). I came back to Detroit and went into private practice. I had built an office, and owned an office here. I had rented it out while I was away, and it had been closed for a while. I dusted things off, and came back, and opened up my shingle right on Oakland Avenue.

I: And what year was that?

R: That was in 1965. Now, I was quite aware of racism in the hospitals. And I didn't even bother to apply for staff privileges. I worked in Black hospitals as much as I could do. I didn't even bother to apply to the White hospitals until I had passed my boards, until I had become certified by the specialty boards. So, when I came back in July, I spent a lot of time studying and working, and doing whatever kind of surgery I could find, because by this time I was a certified general surgeon. I had to pass my specialty boards for general surgery, so I would do general surgery to support my family while I was studying for my cardiothoracic boards. I didn't even apply to the White hospitals because I knew what the hospital situation was like in Detroit. So, I took the exams, and passed them in the fall of that year. Then I applied as soon as I passed my boards and had all my credentials together. They wouldn't have any excuses, there was absolutely no excuse because I trained at one of the finest institutions in the country, so they didn't have any excuses. It was 1965 when I passed the exams. That's when I sent out and got the applications. And in 1966 was when I started getting turned down by hospitals.

I: [For what] reasons?

R: That is a whole subject unto itself. I applied to eight major hospitals in the city of Detroit. These are major hospitals, because we can't do my kind of surgery at small hospitals. Not very well, anyway. You could make out, because I did have to make out. But I applied to all eight major hospitals in Detroit. I was turned down by every hospital, every one with only one exception. Children's Hospital of Michigan accepted me as a cardiac surgeon.




William G. Anderson
Reginald P. Ayala
Arthur W Boddie
Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell
Henry C. Bryant Jr.
Alice Burton
Waldo L. Cain
James W. Collins
Claude and Vivienne Cooper
Gladys B. Dillard
George Gaines Jr.
Leon Gant
Herman J. Glass Sr.
Della Goodwin
Joseph B. Harris
Frank P. Iacobell
Horace L. Jefferson
Sidney B. Jenkins
Arthur Johnson
Rachel B. Keith
William E. Lawson
Josephine Love
Hayward Maben Jr.
Berna C. Mason
Suesetta T. McCree
Dorothy Mottley
David C. Northcross Jr.
Ophelia B. Northcross
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers
Frank P. Raiford III
Garther Roberson Jr.
S. L. Roberson
Elsie Smith
Fannie L. Starks
Lionel F. Swan
Natalia M. Tanner
Oretta Mae Todd
I. Clara Webb
Charles F. Whitten
Charles H. Wright
Watson Young


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Copyright , Kellogg African American Health Care Project, 2000.
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