Appalachian farm

Miles Vandarhurst Lynk, Healer from a Tennessee Farm

Dr. Miles Vandarhurst Lynk (1871-1956) grew up in Brownsville, Tennessee, where he was largely self-educated in the classics through reading books on his mother’s farm. Credentialed as a teacher at 13, and discouraged by a lack of hiring, he turned his aspirations toward the medical field. After serving as an apprentice to Dr. J. C. Hairston, he later enrolled at Meharry Medical College, an HBCU institution, in Nashville, and graduated in 1891 at the age of 19.  The following year, he founded the monthly medical journal Medical and Surgical Observer, the first medical journal published by an African-American, which ran from 1892 to 1894, according to

Specific details of his remarkable personal and professional biography can be found here, beginning on page 76:

His Writings

In addition to the journal, according to “Miles Lynk wrote several books and articles, some of which participants read at annual conferences of the National Medical Association. Over his long career, he would be recognized as one of the top fifty black medical practitioners in the United States. He also wrote books on African American history including The Black Troopers; or, the Daring Heroism of the Negro Soldiers in the Spanish American War, which originally appeared in 1899, and The Negro Pictorial Review of the Great World War, which was released in 1919. In 1952 Lynk was honored by the National Medical Association as the ninth recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.”

Meharry Medical College

Tours for Meharry Medical College begin at 2001 Albion Street in Nashville and are arranged by reservation. For information, visit (It is close to the Fisk University Campus.)

Approximately 830 students are enrolled at Meharry. It recently received a generous $34 million donation to increase the number of Black physicians available to help minorities. Read about it here:

Meharry Medical College is the third stop on the Tennessee Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart