Group of physicians stop at WSSU to inspire future doctors
Photo by Tevin Stinson
BY TEVIN STINSON
It’s no secret that we need more black doctors. Recent numbers show that black doctors make up less than 4 percent of practicing physicians, 6 percent of trainees in graduate medical education and 7 percent of medical school graduates.
Since 2012, in an attempt to increase the number of minority physicians, twice a year, Dr. Alden M. Landry and Dr. Kameron Matthews has welcomed practicing doctors, dentists, and medical school students to board a bus and travel the country to mentor and inspire high school and college students to go into the medical field.
Since the first voyage five years ago, the Tour for Diversity in Medicine has visited nearly 300 college campuses, and earlier this week the tour made a stop at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).
During the visit to WSSU, Dr. Matthews, Dr. Landry and their team of minority physicians covered everything from how to apply to medical school, to conducting mock interviews and everything in between. Shardae Trout said after seeing so many doctors of color she felt empowered to follow in their footsteps.
“It’s awesome to see so many doctors and physicians that look like me who started at an HBCU,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to go into the medical field but after today I think I’m a little more motivated to follow my dreams.”
Although Shardae has not yet decided exactly which field of medicine she wants to go into after her undergrad days, it’s clear that the tour had a major impact on the junior exercise science major, and according to Dr. Landry, if they can connect with a student like Shardae at every stop then they will accomplish their goal.
“At every stop we meet students who believed they couldn’t overcome perceived barriers of entering the healthcare profession, only to meet with one of the doctors who empower them with knowledge resources and support to succeed. These same students will make a tangible difference for themselves and their communities by pursuing a career in medicine.”
Dr. Matthews says, “To be recognized as role models and mentors for thousands of students is something we’re proud of and don’t take lightly. For a student to actually meet in person someone who has achieved the dream they aspire to reach, that becomes a life-changing moment.”