“Our mission is to inspire the next generation of physician leaders and to diversify the field of medicine.”
With the number of African-American men entering medical school on a steady decline, one organization is hoping to inspire more of our youth to pursue careers in medicine.
Hundreds of students and parents, including Brittany Drake and her sons, attended the “Black Men in White Coats” summit this week in North Texas at UT Southwestern to hear medical professionals of color discuss their career paths.
“I think it’s good to see the representation, to see someone that looks like them who has gone through the career pathway, so that way, they know that it’s very feasible. That it’s very possible for them,” Drake said.
Founder of the summit, Dr. Dale Okorodudu, wants to inspire African-American youth beginning in childhood.
“Some alarming data came out that the number of Black men applying to the field of medicine was decreasing. There were actually less in 2011 than there was in 1978,” Okorodudu shared via the organization’s YouTube channel. “Our mission is to inspire the next generation of physician leaders and to diversify the field of medicine with a special emphasis on Black males.”
Participating physician Dr. Emeka Etufugh shared, “Medicine is a long road but it’s a road that many people who perhaps look like them have gone through and been successful. Medicine is a rewarding and exciting and interesting field. I hardly saw any Black males when I was coming up as a resident. I think it’s something to see somebody that looks like you, to inspire you, to help you know that it’s possible to come through this process and be a physician.”