Dr. Dale Okorodudu, an African American doctor and founder of Black Men in White Coats, wants to make an impact on the world by helping develop future leaders in medicine. He recently organized a youth summit with the aim of inspiring black boys to pursue careers as doctors.
“Some alarming data has shown that the number of black men applying in the medical field is declining. In 2011 there were actually fewer than in 1978, ”shared Dr. Okorodudu through the organization’s YouTube channel. “Our mission is to inspire the next generation of physicians and to diversify the field of medicine with a special focus on black men.”
Hoping to do so, Dr. Okorodudu held the first ever youth summit for black men in white coats at UT Southwestern last Sunday. It was attended by hundreds of students from third grade through middle and high school. They were able to connect with educators, clinicians, and community leaders and discover resources that would help them become doctors.
African American teens who attended the summit were able to better understand the science behind the career. They experienced CPR training, demonstrations how to make a splint, including anatomy exploration.
Parents who had to attend with elementary school students also benefited from tips on how to help their children along this career path.
“I think it’s good to see the representation, to see someone who looks like them, who has gone through the career path. That way, they know this is very doable. She’s very likely to do that, ”Brittany Drake, one of the parents who attended the summit with their sons, told Fox 4 News.
Most importantly, the summit encouraged the black youth to be all they think about. It showed them directly what they could achieve in the future, such as becoming a doctor.
“Medicine is a long road, but it’s a road that many people who may look like this have been through and succeeded. Medicine is a rewarding, exciting, and interesting field. I hardly saw any black men when I showed up as a resident, ”said Dr. Emeka Etufugh with. “I think there is something about seeing someone who looks like you inspire you and show you that it is possible to go through that process and become a doctor.”
This article was originally published by BlackNews.com.