Culture

'Black Men in White Coats' is on a Mission to Show Black Boys That They Can Be Doctors Too

'Black Men in White Coats' is on a Mission to Show Black Boys That They Can Be Doctors Too

 Photo via: NBC

It’s so important to remind our kids that they can be anything they put their minds to. Texas physician Dr. Dale Okorodudu is on a mission to do just that with his Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit, which took place February 16 in Dallas, Texas. Established in 2013, the Black Men in White Coats campaign aims to increase the number of Black men pursuing careers in the medical industry.

"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," Dr. 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."

The event took place at UT Southwestern Medical Center, bringing together students, parents, educators, clinicians, and community leaders. The students, whose ages began at the third-grade level, were able to connect with mentors and resources that would help them on the path to becoming doctors. It’s an opportunity that the participating doctors have learned to appreciate. With medicine being a top field, the need for community among Black men is vital for success. 

"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,” Dr. Emeka Etufugh shared. "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." 

The summit also provided guidance for parents to help their children on this career path. Salute to Dr. Okorodudu for showing our Black boys the way.