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Making the Connection

Baptist’s Black Men in White Coats event focuses on disparity in medicine

On Saturday April 28, Baptist hosted the first annual Black Men in White Coats event on the Baptist Memphis campus. Baptist Memorial Health Care, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Baptist Health Sciences University organized the event. In conjunction with MLK week, the event grew from research showing a decline in black males choosing medicine. A 2015 Association of American Medical Colleges report found that the number of African-American males applying to and graduating from medical school was lower in 2014 than in 1978 despite a general increase in the number of black male college graduates.

More than 260 young people attended the event designed to connect more young black men to the field of medicine. More than 75 health care professionals joined guest speaker and author Dr. Dale Okorodudu, who founded DiverseMedicine Inc. in 2011 to combat the absolute deficit of black males going into medicine. During the day, young men had the opportunity to learn about medicine as a career path from mentors and health care professionals.