UT Southwestern physician advances diversity in medicine

The statistics can be staggering: Only two percent of doctors are black men, and fewer black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978. UT Southwestern physician Dale Okorodudu recently held a Black Men in White Coats youth summit to inspire and encourage a generation of doctors as diverse as the patients they’ll care for.

Transcript

[Narrator] The statistics are more promising for women. Since 1986, the number of African American medical school graduates rose 53 percent for women. But dropped 39 percent for men. In fact the report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, found the number of black male applicants to medical schools was lower in 2014 than in 1978.

[Man] Only 2 percent of doctors are black men. If you don't see it, you don't believe it exists. And that means she hit her leg

[Woman] And that's what drove UT Southwestern Medical Centers Dr. Dale Okorodudu's creation of "Black Men In White Coats." A series of short documentaries that evolved into a major community effort, to increase the number of blacks in medicine through mentorship.

There is no lid on your jar.

[Narrator] This recent youth summit, attracting nearly a thousand people to UT Southwestern's campus.

For the little kids we have workshop, we have clinical skills, hands on stuff. The older kids we're doing things like anatomy lab, we're letting the guys learn CPR. And for the parents we have excellent sessions, like how to raise a doctor.

I am a mother of five and my son Marcel as early as elementary school talked about he wanted to be a doctor. And so my role as a mom is to plant that seed and to create the conditions for him to be that doctor that he wants to be.

I want to come here because, it would be a good experience for me to see other people like me, who are successful. And being in a field where they can help people.

[Woman] But judging by the crowd, the number of minorities in medicine will rise.

I'm very hopeful. I am very inspired just by walking around here today. You see so many people here, so many people with smiles on there faces, so many people wearing their little white coats. Saying, taking pictures saying, "I'm going to be a radiologist, I want to be an orthopedic surgeon." It's warm to my spirit, and it makes me hopeful for tomorrow.

[Narrator] And it's clinicians like Dr. Okorodudu, inspiring a generation of doctors as diverse, as the patients they'll care for.