Edith P. Mitchell, MD (1948- )

Mitchell posing in front of an American flag
Brigadier General Edith P. Mitchell
Courtesy National Guard Bureau under public domain

Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, was born in 1948, and raised in Brownsville, Haywood County, Tennessee during the time of Racial segregation in the United States. The daughter of Callie and Robert Peterson, she is a prominent Philadelphia physician and Medical School professor.

Mitchell received her bachelor’s degree with distinction from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1973, she entered the Air Force and while in the service completed medical school at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, receiving a commission through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. She then entered active duty after completing an internship and residency at Meharry Medical College in Nashville and a fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Because of her experience in the cancer research community, Mitchell was selected to serve as a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Blue-Ribbon Panel convened to advise the National Cancer Advisory Board on then Vice President Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Dr. Mitchell is the Associate Director for Diversity Affairs, Director of the Center to Eliminate Disparities, and Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at the Thomas Jefferson Medical Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she specializes in Medical Oncology.

Dr. Mitchell is an appointed member of the President’s Cancer Panel and served as the 116th President of the National Medical Association. Dr. Mitchell spent a significant amount of her career examining barriers to minority participation and accrual in clinical trials, as well as developing new therapies or more effective treatment strategies for cancers. Also, she is Board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Jefferson Methodist Hospital. She has received additional training from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, the Internship and Residency Program at Meharry Medical College, and has held a Fellowship at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

As Jefferson Health Provider she holds title: Clinical Professor Enterprise Associate Director for Cancer Disparities, Program Leader, and Gastrointestinal Oncology. She and other distinguished cancer experts provide care for patients with all types of cancers, ranging from common cancers such as lymphomas, lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers, to rare cancers such as melanomas originating in the eye and sarcomas.

In 2001 Mitchell was first the African American woman in the Missouri National Guard to be promote to Brigadier General. In 2015 she became president of the National Medical Society. On December 3, 2020, Dr. Edith Mitchell was Elected to Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians of London. She is the Associate Director for Diversity Affairs at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and has spent her career helping individuals in medically underserved areas.

In May 17, 2021, Dr. Mitchell was recognized by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) with the 2021 Minorities in Cancer Research – Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship.

Dr. Edith Mitchell is a retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General, the first woman physician to achieve the rank in Air Force history and she has been awarded numerous accolades for her military service including the Legion of Merit. She and her husband of forty-five years, Delmar, have two daughters.