Who We Are
White Coat Black Doctor (WCBDr) was started to provide a forum to discuss daily life and experiences as a Black physician. During our journey of becoming physicians, we noticed that although there were many students of color interested in pursuing medicine as a career, they were unaware of the process of applying to medical school and what constitutes a great applicant. We also noticed that many students lacked mentorship or opportunities.
Given the widening health disparities and inequities experienced by people of color, we know that increasing diversity within medicine is extremely important to addressing these issues. The current population of Black people in the US is about 13.4 % as of July 2019, according to the US census. The Latino Population is 18% currently and is expected to account for 24.4 % of the population in 2050. Despite those estimates, for underrepresented minorities in medicine, those percentages are significantly lower.
Per the AAMC (the American Association of Medical Colleges), in 2019 the percentage of Black physicians was only 5% of the total amount of current physicians, despite Black Americans making up at least 13% of the US population. Similarly, among medical school applicants as of March 2019, Black applicants only made up a total of 8.4% of applicants, while the Latino population made up 6.2% of applicants. Unfortunately, there are a smaller number of Black physicians acting as full time faculty at US medical schools, constituting only 3.6% of faculty members.
There are several factors that lead to the underrepresentation in the medical field. Regardless of what those factors are, it is our mission to help bridge that gap. Given these statistics, the lack of diversity within medicine, and our desire to help reduce health care disparities and inequities, we aim to use our experiences, and what those may have seen as roadblocks, to be frank about the difficult journey to and through medicine. It is our goal to create an environment where we can educate, help those acquire skills and tools to overcome their roadblocks, and truly help the underrepresented finally become the wise leaders that they have been called to be.
We hope to increase representation of physicians of color in the field of medicine. We aim to support Black physicians and physicians in training at various stages in their medical career, including creating a network (or “forum”) for sharing experiences, exchanging ideas, promoting mentorship, and providing educational content.
Support and promote the education and professional development of Black physicians and physicians in training.
“the wisdom knot” – We thought of no other perfect symbol to be able to represent WCBDr. This symbol is an Adinkra symbol, a revered symbol of the Akan, which represents wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence and patience. This symbol conveys the idea that “a wise person has the capacity to choose the best means to attain a goal. Being wise implies broad knowledge, learning and experience, and the ability to apply such faculties to practical ends.” With pursuing a career in medicine and becoming a kind and compassionate physician, not only must you possess resilience and perseverance; you must possess wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence and patience, all represented by this wisdom knot. All of these qualities are needed to deliver competent, compassionate medical care to patients.
A.O.S., MD is Ghanaian-American, Internal Medicine Physician. She recently finished residency and is currently a Cardiology fellow. She decided to pursue medicine at a very young age after her grandmother was diagnosed with heart failure and valvular heart disease. Her grandmother’s toils with the medical system, from a cultural and language barrier standpoint, encouraged her to pursue a career in medicine because she wanted to advocate for patients that “could not truly speak for themselves.” Her overall goal is to cultivate a career that includes academic research to demystify the presentation and management of cardiovascular diseases in women and people of color. In her spare time, she loves to eat, dance, and watch Youtube. “You can learn anything you could ever want to learn from Youtube!”
J.M.W., MD is an African-American, Family Medicine Physician. She recently finished residency and is currently a Community Medicine fellow. Given her background growing up in a medically underserved community, she is passionate about health equity, social justice and community advocacy. Her overall goal is to have a career in Family Medicine that integrates clinical care, teaching, health disparities research, and promoting the health of underserved communities. For fun, besides enjoying beating friends at board games, she also enjoys songwriting and spending time with friends and family.