Where are all the Black Men… in White Coats?
There is a dearth of African-American men in medicine. Statistics from the Association of American Medical Colleges show that 542 black males entered medical school in 1978 compared to 515 who entered in 2014. This drop is alarming considering the increase to nearly 180 schools accepting over 20,000 students annually during the interval 35 years. Medical education is another example where more opportunity has not translated into more equity for African-American men.
Enter Dr. Dale Okorodudu – a tireless advocate working to elevate minorities pursuing careers in medicine. His mission is to connect aspiring doctors, particularly African-American men, with identifiable role models. We were introduced two years ago by our mutual faculty mentor regarding Dr. Okorodudu’s ‘Black Men in White Coats‘ video series. This was well before my media virality, and I was still reticent about doing anything on camera.
A practicing Pulmonary Critical Care specialist and serial entrepreneur, Dr. Okorodudu started ‘Black Men in White Coats’ in 2013 while an internal medicine resident at Duke University. He has advanced from smartphone video recordings to now creating high quality productions filmed at major medical centers around the country.
I was asked to participate in what would be one of his first two productions sponsored by a major medical center – a unique opportunity to advance his mission. I agreed, but not until I had several hesitant discussions with my mentor, University representatives, and Dr. Okorodudu.
I am glad I did. Mentoring minorities is a personal and professional passion, and the response to his production was tremendous – connecting me with scores of future doctors of color.
Dr. Okorodudu is transforming the profession of medicine and when he calls upon me I never decline. That is why I am honored to join him Thursday, Oct 5 at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT) for his free webinar. I hope you will sign up for a lively discussion titled “Medical Justice.”