Empowering Diversity in Medicine: Jefferson University's Initiative to Increase Black Doctors

Lauren Baxter

By Lauren Baxter

Published February 11, 2024

Jefferson University in Philadelphia is taking a proactive approach to address the underrepresentation of Black doctors in the medical field. The student organization 'Black Men in White Coats' at Jefferson University aims to increase the number of Black doctors, recognizing the importance of diversity in medicine.

Motivated to Make a Difference

The second-year medical students at Jefferson's Sidney Kimmel Medical College are driven by the desire to make a difference. Kevin Carolina, a founding member of the group, emphasizes the challenging journey for Black men entering the medical field and the critical need for support in this endeavor.

Personal Inspiration

Kevin Carolina's personal experience has fueled his commitment to the cause. Witnessing the impact of the lack of diversity on health outcomes within his community has motivated him to take action and pave the way for future Black doctors.

Addressing Health Disparities

The initiative recognizes the disparities faced by the Black community in healthcare, with high rates of disease, health complications, and mortality. Lack of trust in White doctors and the absence of medical professionals of the same race have contributed to these challenges.

Diversity in Medicine

While the Association of American Medical Colleges acknowledges an improvement in diversity in medicine, the representation of Black doctors remains at only 5%. The members of 'Black Men in White Coats' are dedicated to enhancing these numbers and making a lasting impact on the medical community.

Inspiring Future Generations

Nathan Delacth, another member of the student organization, highlights the absence of role models who resembled him during his formative years. The group aims to inspire and pave the way for future generations of Black doctors, ensuring that aspiring individuals have relatable figures to look up to in the medical field.

Community Outreach and Support

The student organization is not solely focused on increasing the number of Black students at the university. They are also actively engaged in community outreach, providing essential support and resources to underserved communities, including screening checks and initiatives to improve access to healthcare for Black neighbors.

Uplifting Black Voices

Through their multifaceted approach, 'Black Men in White Coats' aims to uplift Black voices and bring about tangible change within the medical landscape. Their efforts extend beyond the university, striving to create a lasting impact on the broader community.