Dr. Rose Delores Gibbs

Last Updated: February 2, 2023Categories: 2023, General, Healthcare Disparities1.8 min read

The photographs from 1971 and circa 2010-2015 are courtesy of the Waring Historical Library, MUSC, Charleston, SC

First African American woman graduate, College of Medicine 1973

Dr. Delores Gibbs was born in Moncks Corner, SC in 1946. After graduating in 1969 from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Gibbs applied and was accepted into the College of Medicine. She was among the first African American women accepted into the College of Medicine and was the first to obtain a degree in 1973.

From 1972 to 1977, Gibbs served a residency in Internal Medicine at Howard University Hospital and went on to complete a fellowship in infectious and tropical diseases. After earning a Certificate in Tropical Medicine from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC, Gibbs joined the Peace Corps. Gibbs became a Peace Corps Medical Officer and served in The Peace Corps Medical Offices in Sierra Leone, Africa, for a decade. During this time period, she also held academic faculty appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine at Morehouse School of International Medicine in Atlanta. Upon completion of her Peace Corps duties in West Africa, Gibbs was appointed Chief of Medical Operations for the United States Peace Corps in Washington and directed that post from 1980 to 1984. After six years with the Peace Corps, Gibbs accepted the position of director for the Office of International Health at Charles Drew Post Graduate Medical School in Los Angeles. Gibbs returned to Moncks Corner and started a private family practice in 1986.

Over the years, Gibbs has received numerous national and international awards and has been involved in many community projects. She has served as a board member of the Berkeley County Mental Health Association, project director for Concerned Citizens for Better Health of Berkeley County, and as Berkeley County Chairperson for the United Negro College Fund.

She has a longstanding commitment to the Medical University of South Carolina. She was a charter member and president of the Black Alumni Association. She has also served as secretary, treasurer, and president of the College of Medicine Alumni Association. In 2006 she was awarded the College of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Dr. Gibbs retired in October 2021.

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