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A Pioneering Surgeon’s Journey from Liberal Arts to Medicine

Physician-researcher Andrea Hayes-Jordan D ’87, MED ’91, first explored medical research as an undergraduate at Dartmouth. Majoring in religion, Hayes-Jordan seized an opportunity to work in a leukemia lab at the medical school.

“I thought I wanted to do research, but I wasn’t sure,” recalled Hayes-Jordan in a 2018 Geisel video interview. Fortunately for the hundreds of children she has cared for since, she discovered a love of research and medicine. In the 1990s, Hayes-Jordan became the first black female pediatric surgeon in the United States and later the first to successfully use heated chemotherapy to treat children with a rare, devastating cancer called desmoplastic round small cell tumor. Today, Hayes-Jordan is a professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Training complete physicians like Hayes-Jordan—physicians who are medically excellent, highly compassionate, and committed to improving care—is a top priority for Geisel and a primary fundraising priority within its Interaction campaign.

You can read more articles about Hayes-Jordan in Dartmouth Medicine magazine and Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.