CHICAGO — According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), only 5.7% of physicians identify as Black or African American. A non-profit organization was on the Near West Side Saturday, hoping to plant the seeds that help improve the number in the future.
Black Men in White Coats hosted a youth summit at Malcolm X College, where the goal was to inspire children of color to consider pursuing careers in health care.
“So when I started medical school, there were two Black men in my medical school class. One of my best friends and myself were the only two Black men. It was a class of about a humdred, so about 2%,” Dr. Dale Okorodudu said.
Okorodudu founded Black Men in White Coats ten years ago, when the AAMC reported the number of Black men applying to medical schools around the country was declining.
This year, Black men in White Coats has continued to raise awareness by making videos and launching a social media campaign in tandem with hosting 20 youth summits around the country, just like the one that took place on the Near West Side Saturday.
“I was just talking to a woman just now who is 69 years old, lives in Chicago, says she hasn’t seen more than five Black doctors in her life. Right, so it’s just exposure, seeing, knowing that it is possible,” Dr. Okorodudu said.