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USA News

Nonprofit Hosts Youth Summit, Seeks to Inspire POC Children to Pursue Careers in Healthcare


CHICAGO — According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), only 5.7% of physicians identify as black or African American. A nonprofit organization was on the Near West Side Saturday, hoping to plant the seeds that would help improve that number in the future.

Black men in white coats organized a youth summit at Malcolm X College, aimed at inspiring children of color to consider pursuing careers in health care.

“So when I started medical school, there were two black men in my medical class. One of my best friends and I were the only two black men. It was a class of about a hundred, so about 2%,” said Dr. Dale Okorodudu.

Okorodudu founded Black Men in White Coats a decade ago, when the AAMC reported that the number of black men applying to medical schools nationwide was declining.

This year, the black men in white coats continued to raise awareness by making videos and launching a social media campaign, alongside organizing 20 youth summits across the country, just like the one that took place held Saturday on the Near West Side.

“I just spoke to a 69-year-old woman who lives in Chicago who said she hasn’t seen more than five black doctors in her life. That’s right, so it’s just about being exposed, seeing, knowing that it’s possible,” Dr Okorodudu said.


NBC Chicago

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