EDWARD C. MAZIQUE was an extraordinary figure in Washington for some 50 years. By profession he was a physician, a graduate of Howard University's medical school, but he practiced much more than medicine in his efforts to remove racial barriers in Washington. Dr. Mazique, who died Saturday at the age of 76, became an institution in the city, at least in that part of Washington that stood up to be counted for desegregation and integration when these were lonely causes here. In the political and racial spheres as well as the medical, he made a lasting difference.

Former mayor Walter Washington once told Post staff writer Jacqueline Trescott, "You know if you are going to get something done, you call Ed and his words always are, 'I'll be with you.' " He headed a 1956 NAACP committee dealing with desegregation of the D.C. public schools. He held the presidency of local and national black medical organizations. He was involved in the struggles to desegregate all YMCA facilities in this area. He was accepted on the medical staff of Georgetown University Hospital in 1954, as one of the first two black members in more than 60 years, and he was the first black on the staff of Providence Hospital, where he became president 30 years later. He was a member of the first D.C. Citizens Advisory Council, early ancestor of today's elected D.C. Council. He was at the muddy scene of Resurrection City providing medical help when the caravans came to Washington to demonstrate for civil rights.

Dr. LaSalle Leffall, a surgeon and friend, said, "Eddie changed things not only by the quality of his medicine but by his activism." Dr. Mazique clearly loved to mingle -- on the social circuit, on streets that few of his colleagues chose to frequent and on the boards of charities as a shirt-sleeved mover and shaker. "I think physicians should be concerned with the macrocosm, the things you can see, like drugs . . . rather than just putting an eye up to a microscope," he observed. "I know I was told more than once, 'Hey, why don't you stick entirely to medicine, keep your nose out of so much community affairs . . .' but I contend there's not much you can do about combating malaria or TB unless you do indeed do something about the causes of it."

Ed Mazique's prescription, laced with his zest for life, did wonders for Washington.