Doris L. Wethers

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Doris Louise Wethers
Born(1927-12-14)December 14, 1927
Passaic, New Jersey, United States
DiedJanuary 28, 2019(2019-01-28) (aged 91)
Yonkers, New York, United States
Alma materQueens College
Yale University School of Medicine
EmployerKnickerbocker Hospital
Sydenham Hospital
St. Luke's–Roosevelt Hospital Center
Known forSickle-cell disease research
Garvall H. Booker
(m. 1953; died 1996)

Doris Louise Wethers (December 14, 1927 – January 28, 2019) was an American pediatrician known for her research on sickle-cell disease.

Wethers was born in Passaic, New Jersey on December 14, 1927, to William and Lillian (née Wilkinson) Wethers.[1] She graduated magna cum laude from Queens College in 1948, majoring in chemistry, and earned her M.D. at Yale University School of Medicine in 1952 (becoming the third black woman to do so),[2] after which Wethers spent ten years as a pediatrician in private practice. Her office was located next to the office of her father, physician William Wethers.

Wethers became the first black attending physician at [[Mount Sinai Morningside|Saint Luke's Hospital]][2][3] in 1958. She served as medical director for Speedwell Services for Children from 1961 to 1973, and as director of pediatrics and opening sickle-cell anemia programs at Knickerbocker Hospital (1965–1973), Sydenham Hospital (1969–1974), and St. Luke's Hospital (1974–1979).[1] She received a grant for research on sickle-cell disease in 1979.

She conducted research at St. Luke's–Roosevelt Hospital Center and conducted in-patient rounds for medical students learning about sickle-cell disease.[4] Wethers served as director of the hospital's sickle cell program until retiring in 1999.

Wethers also co-founded the Foundation for Research and Education in Sickle Cell Disease with Drs. Yvette Fay Francis-McBarnette and Lila A. Fenwick.[1]

In 1987, Wethers acted as the chairwoman of a panel on sickle-cell screening commissioned by the National Institutes of Health.[5] The panel recommended that all newborn babies, regardless of ethnicity, be tested routinely for sickle-cell anemia; by 2006 this practice had been implemented in all fifty states.[1]

Wethers died after a stroke on January 28, 2019 in Yonkers, New York, aged 91.[1]


  • "Doris L. Wethers". Microsoft Academic Search. Retrieved 2015-02-26.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, Sam (7 Feb 2019). "Dr. Doris Wethers, 91, on Front Lines Against Sickle Cell, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Marcus, Adam (March 9, 2019). "Doris Louise Wethers Obituary". The Lancet. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  3. ^ "Dr. Doris L. Wethers, led breakthroughs in sickle-cell anemia". Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  4. ^ "Wethers, Doris L." Facts on File, History Database Search. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  5. ^ AP (11 Apr 1987). "PANEL FAVORS SICKLE CELL TESTS FOR ALL BABIES". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2019.