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Celebrating Black History Month with Dr. Lands

Celebrating Black History Month with Dr. Lands

In celebration of Black History Month, we asked Dr. Vince Lands, a North Oaks orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement and trauma, to share with us who inspires him and why. Dr. Lands acknowledged fellow orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Robert Gladden, as a healthcare trailblazer.

Dr. Gladden and Dr. Lands share the same alma mater, Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Born in 1911, Dr. Gladden went on to become the first African American certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He also was the first African American elected to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Dr. Gladden accomplished this before the Civil Rights Act, gaining board certification in 1949 in a deeply segregated United States. He trained at Freedmen’s Hospital, which was affiliated with Howard University, a private, federally chartered, historically Black research university in Washington, D.C.

At the time, Howard University was the only institution in the country where African Americans could routinely obtain approved training.

Dr. Lands points to Dr. Gladden’s diligence in pursuing the orthopedic specialty in such a challenging time in American history as inspiration for himself and other Black orthopedic surgeons worldwide.

“Only 1.9 percent of practicing orthopedic surgeons are Black. Through multi-faceted mentoring programs, the J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society, or Gladden Society as it is more commonly known, is cultivating the next generation of underrepresented orthopedic surgeons,” Dr. Lands explained. “Dr. Gladden made sure doors were opened for talented Black physicians to pursue orthopedic surgery specialization.”

During Dr. Gladden’s life, he would become the chief of orthopedic surgery at the Howard University School of Medicine and Freedmen's Hospital and one of three chiefs of orthopedic surgery at the District of Columbia General Hospital. He also lectured at George Washington Medical School, where he chaired the orthopedic section of the National Medical Association.

Dr. Lands practices at North Oaks Orthopedic Specialty Center in Hammond. Please call 985-230-2663 to schedule an appointment.

To learn more about Dr. Lands, please visit: