To many in the medical profession, it’s a public health crisis in the making: While African-Americans make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, only about 6 percent of doctors are black. And evidence shows that patients feel better about the quality of their health care when their doctors look like them.

To address this workforce issue, a group of young doctors, dentists, and other health care professionals started a traveling program called Tour for Diversity that goes all over the U.S. to meet with young people of color who are interested in health career paths. STAT talked to some of the leaders of Tour for Diversity at a recent stop in Winston-Salem, N.C., about some of the challenges they have faced in achieving their goals of becoming doctors and dentists. Here’s what they had to say.

On treating people of color

Dr. Ciera Sears, an internal medicine resident physician in Dayton, Ohio, talks about what it’s like when patients of color see her for the first time and how she establishes a relationship with them.

On overcoming racism

Dr. Love Anani, an emergency physician in Nashville, Tenn., discusses the pain of racism and feelings of inadequacy.

On using ethnicity as a strength

Dr. Italo Brown, an emergency medicine resident physician from New York City, recounts his experience treating a young, African-American man with gunshot wounds in the emergency room.

On being natural

Shayla Wilson, a dental student at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tenn., talks about the debates surrounding her dreadlocks when she was applying for dental school.

On being a ‘real doctor’

Dr. Brandon Henry, a sports medicine fellow in Waco, Texas, recalls when patients dismissed him, saying they want a “real doctor.”

On having a role model

Dr. Kameron Leigh Matthews, a family physician in Washington, D.C., talks about having a role model in her father, a physician who treated people in their community.

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  • I need of a medical Doctor. Prefer black not racist, but to support our culture and leaders, also for comfort of care. Burning breast. Waco Texas area. 254-7223646. Have a paralyzed son who did not get care needed to help him walk. Need medical attention to be able to be around to help him manuever in life

  • Hi. I live in Cedar Hill, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. How do I find black doctors in my area? Is there a directory or association I can access for information? I need a Primary Care physician and a Gynecologist. Thanks so much.

    Nita McKeethen 214-282-1331

    • Sorry. My phone sent the message accidentally. Please contact the National Medical Association they have a list of minority physicians which may be in your area.

  • African American physicians are being systematically destroyed by the Medical Board of California at this time. As we fall, our practices fall. As our practices fall, our patients began to die (mainly because they are poor and Black). Even when we defeat these racists in a court of law, they racially profile us, and attach negative stereotype messages to our online license information, and we are not allowed to challenge these “smears” because we are denied the very “due process” rights which are guaranteed in the Constitution of the U.S. The best example that I can give you: go to the California Medical Board website and look up Medical License number: G51928. Unfounded and unsubstantiated “allegations” provided by the same policeman that shoot us down like dogs. In response to the allegations, I stated…”If you feel that I have broken even a single law of any kind, please have me arrested.” They won’t do that because they know that the truth will come out in a court of law, so now they simply profile us with “unproven allegations”, they are even more effective. Currently, my medical practice of over 30 years is closed, and I can’t locate any Attorney to take my case. Yes, my medical license and D.E.A. Certificate are intact and up to date, but my practice is closed. Please go online and look up “Black Doctors Accuse the California Medical Board of Racial Profiling” Be sure to read the 2003 to 2013 Research Study which we mead the Medical Board conduct. Let me know what you think.
    Sincerely, (510) 823-2575

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