Dr. Richard Allen Williams

Dr. Richard Allen Williams, 117th President of the National Medical Association and Founder of the Association of Black Cardiologists (1974), is a cum laude honors graduate of Harvard University (1957). He subsequently attended the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center where he received the M.D. degree in 1962. He performed an internship at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, a residency in Internal Medicine at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, and a Cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he later joined the faculty.

Dr. Williams has held positions as Assistant Medical Director at Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital in Los Angeles, Chief of the Heart Station at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital, and Head of Cardiology at the same institution. At present he is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine (full Professor), where he has been a faculty member for over 40 years.

He is also the Founder of the Minority Health Institute (1985), which focuses on educational programs to teach doctors about cultural competency, diversity, and healthcare disparities. 

Among his many publications are the seminal, landmark Textbook of Black Related Diseases (McGraw_Hill, 1975). Dr. Williams has received many honors including the Scroll of Merit from the National Medical Association, their highest award. He was given the Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award by the American Heart Association for outstanding service in the minority community. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Harvard Medical School in 2004 in recognition of his successful efforts to increase diversity at that institution when he was on the faculty there. In 2012, he was honored as the Ethnic Physician of the Year by the California Medical Association Foundation. He also received the International Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership Award at the United Nations from the Nation Council of Women of the United States in recognition of his global contributions in uplifting the health of people in other countries.