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Dr. Omega C. Logan Silva





Year of Birth / Death

b. 1936


Medical School

Howard University College of Medicine


Geography

LOCATION
Washington
LOCATION
Maryland
LOCATION
District of Columbia


Career Path

Internal medicine
Research: Endocrinology
Dr. Omega C. Logan Silva



Milestones

YEAR
1983
ACHIEVEMENT
Dr. Omega Logan Silva was the first woman to be appointed president of the Howard University Medical Alumni.
YEAR
1974
ACHIEVEMENT
Dr. Omega Logan Silva was the lead author of the first description of the production of calcitonin from human small cell cancer of the lung.
YEAR
1974
ACHIEVEMENT
Dr. Omega Logan Silva was the first African American to be awarded a Clinical Investigatorship in the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Inspiration

I was always interested in science and research. As a chemist at the NIH I decided an M.D. degree offered more flexibility—clinical, administrative, research, and teaching.



Biography

Omega Logan Silva, M.D., is 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 is 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 is 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 has 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 has 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 has made numerous media appearances to highlight issues in women's health including smoking, cervical cancer, and thyroid disease. She has also participated in various career days and educational events at local schools, and has 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.



Question and Answer

What was my biggest obstacle?

Getting into medical school, paying the tuition and continuing family responsibilities.

How do I make a difference?

I have always felt I gave my patients 100+ percent in my goal to give them better health.

Who was my mentor?

Beatrix Scott, M.S., my high school chemistry teacher, Percy Barnes, M.D., my college chemistry teacher