in Abbeville, South Carolina on September 27, 1915, Dr.
Watson Young's father traveled to Detroit with his family
in 1923 in search of economic opportunity. Dr. Young lived
in Inkster, but had the opportunity to go to Dearborn
High School from which he graduated in 1934. For almost
a year following graduation, Dr. Young worked at the Ford
Motor Company in order to earn money to go to college.
He enrolled at Eastern Michigan University (then Michigan
Normal College) as a music major. Realizing his talents
lay elsewhere, he changed his major to pre-med and graduated
in 1938. That fall, Dr. Young enrolled in The University
of Michigan Medical School and graduated in 1942.
Upon graduating, Dr. Young realized that, because he was black, he would be unable to
get an internship at any of the medical institutions in the state of Michigan. Counselors
at the University of Michigan advised him to apply elsewhere and he accepted an internship
at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Though he was asked to remain at
Homer G. Phillips for a residency, Dr. Young returned to Detroit in 1943, eager to begin a
private practice. Dr. Guy Saulsberry of Kirwood Hospital provided him the opportunity to
work in his hospital and out of his office. After six months of this arrangement, Dr.
Young opened his own office in his parents' home in Inkster. By the late 1940's, Young
realized he really needed the training and experience a residency would provide; he
returned to Homer G. Phillips in 1949 and completed a residency in Obstetrics and
Gynecology in 1952.
In 1950, Dr. Young was drafted by the Army for service in Korea. Because of his
residency program, he was able to delay entry into the Army until 1954. He served two
years in the medical corps. in Texas, entering as a major. Following his service in the
Army, he returned to Detroit where he continued in private practice, specializing in
obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Young has been a member of the National Medical
Association, the Detroit Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He retired from
practicing medicine in 1980.
|Tape recorded interview;
24 April 1997
following excerpt represents Opinions/Observations
regarding the demise of black proprietary hospitals and
whether integration caused that:
Yes, it caused the demise of black hospitals in Detroit
and everywhere there was a black or has been a black
hospital, because of the fact that, once you had access
to good treatment, you did not want to take your patient
where it was not available, and your patient did not
want to go to places where they had some idea that it
may not be as good as it could be; because once they
got an opportunity to see what best was, what good was,
then what they had been used to was no longer acceptable,
to the doctors or to the patient. And then they, the
requirements of the hospital became more rigid.