Black Men in White Coats Seeks to Encourage an Interest in Healthcare Professions Among Youth

When Dr. Dale Okorodudu started the Black Men in White Coats program, he had a vision . . . to encourage and support black men in becoming white coat health professionals, particularly physicians. In 2018, Memphis hosted its first Black Men in White Coats Summit under the direction of Dr. Lilian Nyindodo, Baptist Health Sciences University, and Professor Ann Marie Wallace and Ms. Cynthia Bradford, Baptist Memorial Health Care.

“The event brought all of our area healthcare professionals and organizations together. It was sponsored by Baptist Memorial Health Care and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. Memphis now has a Black Men in White Coats Chapter for the Memphis Area that is hosted and organized by Baptist Health Sciences University with representation and leaders from several other universities.” said Briana J. Jegier, PhD., Program Chair and Associate Professor, Health Administration and Public Health Chair, and Community Health Worker Training Program Co-Chair BHSU HealthCORE.

According to Dr. Jegier, black males represent the smallest proportion of physicians by race/ethnicity and is one of the only groups that has not seen an increase in applications for white coat health professions. The organization seeks to address this by providing mentoring and events that provide opportunities for young black males to engage with practicing and retired black men in white coats.

The free program provides opportunities for students – middle school, high school, college, and graduate students – to network with health professionals from across the spectrum from the business side to the patient care side, from public health to surgery, and everything in between.

“They will get hands on training in how to network before engaging in a multi-round speed networking where they will meet a variety of health professionals and have a chance to ask questions about their journey to their current role,” said Dr. Jegier. “They will get career advice and support with preparing their resume, admissions statement, and answers to financial aid questions. They also will engage in hands on tabletop experiments and health care scenarios such as making an IV bag, reading an x-ray, and analyzing a mystery liquid.”

Although the program is geared towards black men, it is open to all students regardless of their ethnicity or gender. The desire is for students who have an interest in any of the shared fields – health care careers in medicine or administrative support. From physicians, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and advanced practice practitioners to medical information technology, marketing, legal services and human resources, and more – to attend the program and learn.

“The program is open to all students. The emphasis is on black males, but we hope everyone will come,” said Dr. Jegier.

EVENT: Black Men in White Coats

LOCATION: Baptist Health Science University, 1003 Monroe Avenue, Memphis 38104

DATE & TIME: Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. to 12;30 p.m.

LEARN MORE & REGISTER: Register now!

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