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First Chinese graduate of an American medical school was possible early Downstate alumn

Old Newspapers

Dr. Joseph Thoms was a very early alumnus of one of the precursors to SUNY Downstate, and purported to be the first ethnically Chinese person to graduate from any American medical school. Read more in this New York History article by Scott Seligman.

Thoms “lived most of his life in Brooklyn, where he established America’s first modern hospital for Chinese patients. A strong civil rights advocate at a time when his community could boast few of them, he spoke out frequently and forcefully against the injustices to which Chinese in America were subjected.”

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