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First African American Full Professor of Urology Retires After Making Mark in Education and Military

First African American Full Professor of Urology Retires After Making Mark in Education and Military

 

Photo: Augusta University  

Dr. Bobbilynn Hawkins, the nation's first African American full professor of urology, has recently retired from her role at Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center-Downtown Division. She served as a professor in the Section of Urology and Center of Biotechnology and Genomics, as well as the director of Spinal Cord Urology, Urodynamics, and Female Urology, respectively. 

While attending Emmanuel College, Hawkins decided that medical school would be her next step, despite the then all-women's college telling her to stay on the nursing route since not one of their students had received a medical school acceptance. 

“When college officials told me medical school was out of reach, I let their words fuel my ambition to prove them wrong,” Hawkins told Augusta University. “My father, who was a colonel in the United States Army, raised me to be a leader and I was not going to let them stop me from following my heart."

In doing so, Hawkins went on to do several studies at Harvard Medical School and earn a master’s degree from Baylor University. She was later accepted into Georgetown University’s School of Medicine, but little did she know, her urology studies would also position her to make history in the United States Army.

Serving as a military command surgeon during her 30 plus year military career, Hawkins also blazed a trail as the U.S. Army's first female urologist and the sixth female urologist to be certified by the American Board of Urology. She is also credited with helping advance the study of Ochoa Syndrome, which, according to August University, is "a rare condition that turns smiles into grimaces and impedes bladder and bowel control." 

Now, she's taking all that she's learned over the course of incredible career and passing it down to present and future health care providers. 

“Although I am retiring, I leave at peace knowing students like Lynn and Paul will be among those striving to provide the best possible care to their patients,” said Hawkins. “The twins have a strong work ethic, and I believe they are research scientists who have what it takes to discover the answers that we seek for the cure for cancer.” 

A retirement party was held in her honor at VA Medical Center-Downtown Division on the last day of Black History Month.

Congratulations and Happy Retirement, Dr. Hawkins! Thank you for blazing a trail and cultivating future urologists. 

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