Medical School & Residency
Drew graduated from Amherst in 1926. After that, he worked for two years at Morgan College, a black college in Baltimore, to earn money for medical school. At Morgan, he taught biology and chemistry, and worked as Director of Athletics. Again he excelled in sports, transforming the college's mediocre basketball and football teams into champions.
Drew had wanted to apply to Howard University College of Medicine, to be near his family. Unfortunately, he did not have enough English credits at Amherst to get in at Howard. They did, in rejecting him, offer him a position as Athletic Director for Howard, but Drew wanted to go to medical school. In the years before the Civil Rights Movement, options for black students interested in medical education were very limited. Drew eventually decided on McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montréal, in integrated school with a reputation for good treatment of minority students.
While he had been an average student up to this point, Drew excelled in medical school. He served on the staff of the McGill Medical Journal and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society. He also continued his interest in sports, running Track and Field for McGill while he attended. In 1933, Drew graduated from McGill, second in a class of 137.
Following McGill, Drew did a residency at Montréal General Hospital, where he worked with bacteriologist John Beattie, who was studying ways to treat shock with blood transfusions. Following that residency and the death of his father-- which left Charles the chief breadwinner of the family-- Drew returned to Arlington, and found a job as a Instructor of Pathology at Howard.