Omega Logan Silva, M.D., was professor emeritus of medicine at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a medical review officer for Employee Health Programs in Bethesda, Maryland. She was a long-standing advocate for universal health care and a committed supporter of the advancement of women in medicine. In 1999 Dr. Silva was appointed President-Elect of the American Medical Women's Association.
Omega Silva graduated cum laude with honors in chemistry from Howard University in 1958. She spent the next five years working as a chemist as the National Institutes of Health, and in 1963 returned to Howard University to train as a physician. After earning a doctor of medicine degree in 1967, Dr. Silva completed a residency in internal medicine at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington, D.C., and from 1970 to 1974 served as a fellow in endocrinology at George Washington University.
In 1975 she was appointed assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University, and in 1977 she was also appointed associate professor of oncology at Howard University. Dr. Silva has held academic posts at both institutions ever since, becoming full professor at Howard in 1985 and at George Washington in 1991. In 1983 she was elected president of the Howard University Medical Alumni, making her the first woman to hold that post. From 1977 to 1996 Dr. Silva was also assistant chief of the Metabolic Section and chief of the diabetic clinic at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Silva was a member of dozens of local and national committees and organizations and from 2000 to 2002 served as president of the American Medical Women's Association. She served on six separate advisory groups for the National Institutes of Health and was a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration's Immunology Section from 1981 to 1989. Dr. Silva also served on the board of directors for the Howard University Medical Alumni Association, the National Association of Veterans Affairs Physicians, the American Medical Women's Association and the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine.
Dr. Silva made numerous media appearances to highlight issues in women's health including smoking, cervical cancer, and thyroid disease. She also participated in various career days and educational events at local schools, and had been an editorial referee for Chest, Archives of Internal Medicine and The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics.
In 1984, Dr. Silva received a Letter of Commendation from the President Reagan and in 1995 she was given a Letter of Thanks from President Clinton for her participation in health care reform. In 2003 Dr. Silva was elected to a Mastership at the American College of Physicians. She is also listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in Black America, Who's Who in Professional and Executive Women, and Who's Who of American Women.