Episode 8: Dr. Matthew Anderson: Cut From A Different Cloth; the rise of a neurosurgeon as a minority amongst minorities

Matthew N. Anderson is a neurosurgeon, who trained at Brown University. He is interested in cerebrovascular neurosurgery, with a specific interest in interventional treatment of ischemic stroke and pediatric vascular malformations. Matthew is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. He then went to Stanford University to complete his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. At Stanford, Matthew was president of the Stanford Black Pre-Medical Organization, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of African American doctors in medicine. After Stanford, he attended University of Connecticut for medical school where he was co-president of the Student National Medical Association for two years. Throughout his academic career, Matthew has been interested in learning ways to increase diversity in medicine through various mentoring and pipeline programs. 

During this episode, he explains how he got involved in medicine, and the unique challenges he has faced as black gay physician. He uncovers the impetus behind his passion for increasing diversity in medicine and the importance of self care to stay fueled on his mission. When Dr. Anderson is not performing clinical responsibilities, he enjoys reading, running, weightlifting, cycling, hiking, traveling and karaoke. To hear more about his story make sure you tune in to another Black Men in Medicine Podcast episode, bringing you nothing but the gems!

Episode 7: Dr. Ray Bignall: From Pilot to Pediatrician, and the significance of his HBCU experience on the physician he is today

O. N. Ray Bignall II, MD, FAAP, FASN is Assistant Chief Diversity and Health Equity Officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He also serves as Director of Kidney Health Advocacy and Community Engagement for the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. A graduate of Howard University and Meharry Medical College, Dr. Bignall completed his general pediatrics residency, clinical fellowship in nephrology, and NIH post-doctoral research fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

In this episode Dr. Bignall unveils his inspiration for becoming a physician, while elaborating on the difficult decision to go against his families dream for him, in quest for his own happiness. He touches on the impact of his Jamaican roots, and the importance of being a health advocate in underserved communities. Dr. Bignall provides tangible examples of how we can make strides on improving diversity in health care, all while dropping Gems on how wears so many hats and manages to preserve a work life balance. This is an episode you don’t want to miss, make sure you tune in to another Black Men in Medicine Podcast episode, bringing you nothing but the gems! 

NIH: Notable African American Surgeons 

Vivien Thomas, a key member of the first surgical cures for cyanotic heart diseases, was not even a physician. However it seems he was given credit by a lot of the physicians he did train; this Black History Month, I would like to add to the credit he so much deserves. Thank you Vivien Thomas, Dr. Scott, Dr. Evans, and Dr. Bath and all minority health care professionals that have made our dreams possible. 

#BlackMalePhysiciansBreakTheMold

Black Men in Medicine creates community and support network for doctors of tomorrow

Black Men in Medicine (BMIM) is an organization that supports and mentors Black male individuals at various stages of their medical journey. With a focus on undergraduate and medical students, residents, attending physicians, and faculty, BMIM provides presentations, discussions, resources, and educational programs. They also offer mentorship for elementary, middle, high school, and pre-med students, aiming to inspire them to pursue a career in medicine. The organization creates a sense of brotherhood and community, providing a safe and inclusive environment where #Blackmeninmedicine can support and encourage each other.

Trend of fewer black male doctors has broader public health impact

This article discusses the issue of the underrepresentation of black male doctors and explores potential solutions to address this disparity. It highlights the importance of early exposure and mentorship programs in inspiring and guiding young black males toward careers in medicine. The article also mentions initiatives aimed at increasing diversity in medical schools and the need to address systemic barriers and biases that hinder the recruitment and retention of black male physicians. Finally, it emphasizes the importance of community support and collaboration to create a more inclusive and representative healthcare workforce. Be sure to check out the interactive map representing black doctors by percentage in each state. Can you guess which state has the highest representation?

Unequal Pay for Doctors

This article discusses the issue of unequal pay among doctors, with minority physicians experiencing significant disparities compared to their white male counterparts. The study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School reveals that black male physicians face a wage gap of approximately $38,000 per year compared to white male physicians, even after adjusting for factors like years of experience and specialty. This wage gap highlights the ongoing systemic biases and discrimination within the medical field that impact black male doctors disproportionately. Addressing and rectifying these inequities is crucial to promoting diversity and ensuring fair compensation for black males and other underrepresented groups in medicine.

Black Men in Medicine encourages young black men to enter the field | Ohio State College of Medicine

The mission of Black Men in Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine is to demonstrate the excellence put forth by black male physicians and rising students in the medical field as a means to increase the recruitment of black males in medicine. This video highlights members of BMIM sharing how the this organization impacts them and how they plan to inspire the next generation.

J Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society 

The Gladden Society identifies itself as a pluralist multicultural organization designed to meet the needs of under-represented minority orthopaedic surgeons and to advance the ideals of excellent musculoskeletal care for all patients with particular attention to underserved groups.

For our aspiring Orthopedic Surgeons in the group make sure you get connected to with this society. For our respective members already apart of the society, please guide those looking to connect with you! #BMIM #LiftAsWeClimb

‘It was stolen from me’: Black doctors are forced out of training programs at far higher rates than white residents

This article highlights the concerning phenomenon of black doctors being forced out of training programs at higher rates than their white counterparts. The statistics presented shed light on the ongoing disparities and biases faced by black professionals in medicine. Efforts should be made to identify and address the factors contributing to these disparities, such as providing support and mentorship opportunities, increasing cultural competency training, and promoting awareness and accountability regarding racial bias and discrimination within training programs. Furthermore, there is a need to strengthen and expand programs and initiatives that focus on recruiting, mentoring, and retaining black males in medicine.

Student Organization Aims to Celebrate, Support Black Men in Medicine

This article highlights the Black Men in Medicine (BMIM) student organization that aims to support and celebrate black males in medicine. The organization provides a platform for black male students to connect, network, and share their experiences in a field where they are underrepresented. They also collaborate with local institutions and healthcare professionals to provide mentorship and educational opportunities for aspiring black male physicians. Overall, the organization seeks to promote diversity, inclusion, and representation in the medical field.

Medical Student Kevin Stonewall Seeks to Cure Cancer

Keven injected older and younger mice with an experimental vaccine before also injecting them with aggressive colon cancer cells. One hundred percent of the younger mice developed immunity to the cancer while the older mice did not, leading Keven to conclude that older people with colon cancer might need separate treatment to successfully combat the disease. His research was published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, and he was a finalist in the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Episode 6: Dr. Emmanuel Boateng, Internist: How I Made It To Vanderbilt

Dr. Emmanuel Boateng hails from Ghana, Africa. In this episode he shares the impact his parents had on his journey to medicine and what it means to be a first generation physician in his family. He discusses the resiliency needed to triumph hurdles in his journey and how that persistence landed him at Vanderbilt University to practice Internal Medicine.
He provides detailed stories on what he had to overcome while starting residency in a pandemic, how he impacts the minority community and the importance of a work like balance. Tune in to learn more about Dr. Boateng and how to be successful accomplishing your goals, as we bring you nothing but the gems!

Episode 5: Dr. Quinn Capers IV, Interventional Cardiologist: Physician By Day, Activist By Night

Quinn Capers IV, M.D. is Professor and Chair of the Internal Medicine Department at Howard University. Previously, he was the inaugural Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of its Division of Cardiology. He also served as the university’s Associate Dean for Faculty Diversity.

Originally from Ohio, Dr. Capers earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and obtained his medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. He then received his residency in internal medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he also completed fellowships in cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, and vascular biology research. Physician peers named him one of America’s “Best Doctors” annually from 2009 to 2020, and his patient satisfaction scores placed in the 90th percentile nationally for six years. In 2019 he was elected into the OSU Society of Master Clinicians.

In this episode, Dr. Quinn Capers IV, Interventional Cardiologist, discusses his distinguished career path in medicine. Moreover, he sheds light on the barriers he faced on his way to his medical degree and life changing moments that powered his activism in implicit bias and diversity in healthcare. 

What Is It To Be A Fourth-Year Medical Student

It was just another day in clinic. I was on an off-service outpatient month and saw this month as somewhat of vacation for me. Fourth year of medical school is a mix of some anxiety and stress of regular medical school accompanied by a new found feeling “I’m ready for this to be over” aka Senioritis.

At this stage of fourth year, many of us are already decided in our specialty choice. In addition, at my institution, fourth year typically affords students the flexibility to design their own schedules. With residency application season occurring in the fall, the strategy for fourth year is to complete all your main specialty rotations and associate rotations prior to application time. What this leads to is many students front loading their schedules. Once these main rotations have been completed, many students design their schedules to suit their needs. Since, outpatient medicine was not one of the main rotations related to my specialty, I was enjoying the benefit of medical education without the added pressure to over-preform as I would if I were trying to earn honors or a letter of recommendation.

Many of my days were similar. We would see scheduled patients that were typically follow up visits, pre-op clearances, and the occasional first-time patients. As part of my school’s curriculum, I had been practicing medicine in this capacity since I was a first year and thus, I was fairly comfortable with these types of visit. However, on this day, something different happened from the normal outpatient routine. I had a patient coming in for their one year follow up and the interaction went as follows:

Patient: 66 y/o female with chronic congestive heart failure.

“Are you new or experiencing any worsening shortness of breath or chest pain with rest or exertion…”, I said, as I had said a many time before.

“Nope, everything has been the same as before.” the patient replied.

“How are you at work and at home? Any difficulty completing your daily activities?” I asked.

“No, however I have been having trouble walking. For the past two weeks my left ankle has been swellin’ up due to the weather.”

Without me even consciously thinking, an intern made a note of what she said and began constructing a list of causes for this “new” symptom. At baseline, the patient has bilateral lower leg swelling due to her heart failure. However, during the physical exam I noticed a stark difference between not just the ankle but the entire left lower leg portion. In addition, she had pain within the left leg when I attempted to flex and extend the ankle.

While all of this was taking place, the wheels within my head began spinning. “Here we had a patient with several etiologies for lower leg swelling however, this is different,” I thought. Simultaneously, I remained immersed in a conversation about the recent heat wave this summer and the effects it has had upon her garden. At the end of the exam, I excused myself from the room to present to my attending.

To all my medical student underclassmen reading this, one of the perks to fourth year is that once you have established yourself as being capable, typically some attendings will not make you present patients in SOAP format. Thus, my presentations on this service largely consisted of just letting the attending know what the patient wanted or needed that visit.

“So, tell me about it.,” said the attending with his head down busily finishing up a note.

“66 y/o female in room #, she here for a year follow up. No new complaints or symptoms related to her CHF and she is tolerating her medications well. Shortness of breath with exertion is stable. Patient has bilateral leg swelling at baseline however, she is now complaining of increased left limb swelling and discomfort. On exam, I noticed there was significant discoloration, pitting, and tenderness to palpitation in the left leg”

Still looking at his computer screen, “hmm…. What do you want to do?” they said.

As a fourth year, I love when attendings ask that question because it allows me to be included in the team while providing me with an opportunity to test myself.

I replied “I don’t think this new swelling is related to her CHF so I want to send her to the ED. I think she needs a lower leg ultrasound.”

Bouncing up from his computer with the quickness of only a seasoned doctor, “If what you’re saying is true, I agree… Let’s go take a look” were the last words he said before seemingly sprint walking out of the team room.

What is it to be a fourth-year medical student?

A fourth-year medical student is a true “baby doc” as called by the nursing staff. You collect histories, conduct exams, make assessments, and decide plans just as a physician part of the team. Many times, you will be wrong in your suggestions, and that’s ok. You’re learning, and as part of the process you are expected to be wrong. BUT every so often, the planets align, and YOU are the one that’s right. That day, on an off-service outpatient month I surprised myself. It was the day I realized that maybe I do know a thing or two about medicine. It was the day I confirmed that maybe I am ready to be doctor.

Episode 4: Chase Richard MD, MBA: Bet On Yourself

Dr. Chase Richard, Emergency Medicine physician, discusses the importance of self confidence and the mentality you must possess to acquire goals you set for yourself. He explains the story of how we went from being a Stanford Dean Award recipient to an Emergence Medicine physician. In addition he provides insight on why he choose to obtain an MBA to compliment his medical degree. Bring your umbrella because this episode features a flood of that white coat drip!

Becoming An MD: Resiliency is The Prerequisite To An MD

As a premed, I would spend many nights wishing and praying for just one interview invite. I thought, “if I could just get one shot” I would be in. For several years, I planned, studied, and prepared for my moment of opportunity. Then, after what felt like an eternity, I received my first interview invite. Before I knew it, I was on a roller coaster ride. From interview season I quickly progressed into what I call “waiting season.” During this time my prayers changed slightly to include “if I could just get one acceptance” I would be there. Day after day I would check my email, religiously scanning the titles for .edu addresses or “Congratulations”. Then one day it arrived. “Congratulations” it read, “you have been accepted into THE Ohio State University College of Medicine.” I was in shock.

The next few months until white coat seemed like a blur of excitement, anxiety, and celebration until that day; The White Coat Ceremony. The White Coat Ceremony is the summation of all premed students blood, sweat, and tears. It is a day of pomp and circumstance, presented in a roaring auditorium consisting of ones most trusted family and friends and the most esteemed academic physicians of the hosting institution. All the newly accepted medical students sit in the front row, awaiting for the moment when they will be christened into the club that is medicine. I will never forget the moment I was called to the stage to receive my white coat. As my name echoed out into the crowd I walked across the stage blinded by the lights and deafened by the sounds. As they slipped the white coat over my shoulders for a brief moment everything stopped. It was as if at that instance time paused and the only thing I could hear was my own thoughts. It was during that silence that my inner voice said to me, “I’ve made it.”

You know… If the story ended right there it would be the greatest triumph story ever told. I mean, I like many other students, overcame what seemed like a mountain of obstacles all for that one moment. From poor grades, hatin’ professors, and dead end jobs, I hurdled every obstacle. If I was knocked down, I stood back up. If I was beat, I tried again. I mean, I made it right?

LMAO

During that silence at The White Coat Ceremony, in an auditorium of hundreds of people, what should have been said was not “I’ve made it” but instead “you done really did it now”. Little did I know, that by accepting that white coat, I had just signed myself up for the most difficult task I have had to face in my entire life.

I am now a battled hardened fourth year medical student. I have survived anatomy lab, board exams, the wards, and the ORs with my most recently accomplishment of overcoming COVID19. As I sit and type this I can only think man how naïve was I. If only I knew that the REAL journey came AFTER the acceptance and not before. The before was the warm up and medical school isn’t even the first half of the game. Medical school, is akin to the pre-season. As a fourth year student, having completed my rotations, I now see that the medical journey is lifelong. There are moments where you score a goal/make it yet, the game is still going. Thus, after three more years of blood (literally this time), sweat, and tears I now find myself once again hoping, wishing, and praying. Except this time, instead of medical school, it’s now residency. “If I can just match.” Thus the cycle repeats itself. However, this time it’s different. I’m wiser now. I have learned and come to appreciate the fact that resiliency is the prerequisite to an MD.

Episode 3: Dr. Albert Coombs III: What It Takes To Run Your Own Private Practice

Albert Coombs DMD, private practice owner of Smile Services DC, breaks down what it takes to become a business owner and the grit to become a successful Doctor of Dental Medicine. He provides a glimpse of some of the struggles along his journey, and the fulfillment he experiences on a daily basis by following his dream. This episode is drenched with white coat drip and filled with gems for all listeners on a pursuit of excellence.

Episode 1: Pilot Episode Meet The Host

The Black Men In Medicine Podcast is here to bring you that white coat drip! The gem dropping, collar popping, world rocking backstories of some brilliant minds in medicine. This podcast provides a platform where listeners can hear first-hand stories of triumph and challenge on the road to becoming a doctor. Listen in for specific advice for those on the MD path or to catch valuable life lessons for those simply on a pursuit of excellence. Tune in with Corey Gatewood, your host, as we bring you nothing but the gems.

Implicit Bias

Implicit bias occurs, Capers explained, when the “unconscious mind hijacks the conscious mind,” and it stems from our experiences — not racism. Capers suggested creating an implicit bias reduction ‘cheat sheet,’ which admission committee members can review prior to interviewing medical school or residency applicants.

DeBaun’s mentoring honored by American Society of Hematology

Michael DeBaun, MD, MPH, director of the Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease, has been awarded the American Society of Hematology’s 2019 ASH Mentor Award for his sustained and outstanding commitment to the training and career development of early career hematologists. The mentor award represents the hard work of his mentees in the United States, Nigeria, and Ghana who have taken on the challenge of focusing their life’s work on delivering and advancing the care of children and adults with sickle cell disease.

Having a Black Doctor Led Black Men to Receive More Effective Care

In the U.S., racial and ethnic minorities have higher rates of chronic disease, obesity, and premature death than white people. Black patients in particular have among the worst health outcomes, experiencing higher rates of hypertension and stroke. And black men have the lowest life expectancy of any demographic group, living on average 4.5 fewer years than white men.

A number of factors contribute to these health disparities, but one problem has been a lack of diversity among physicians.

Gray Goes Grand

Dr. Darrell M. Gray, II, MD, MPH (pictured on the left), earns the Grand SCOPY, the highest honor among the SCOPY recipients and recognizes the most innovative and multi-faceted integrated communications program that represents what can and should be done to raise colorectal cancer awareness.