A new group at the MCG hopes to diversify the medical field
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — There’s a new group on the Medical College of Georgia campus. Black Men of MCG hopes to add diversity to medical school and provide opportunities for existing students.
“Many of us didn’t even know [fourth year medical students], or I didn’t even know how many residents MCG had,” said medical student and group organizer Ryan Johnson. “And being a black male in medicine is unique because we’re one of the most underrepresented groups.”
With the help of some faculty members, Johnson is trying to combat these issues with his new organization.
“We didn’t have a network that we could reach out to, so I basically wanted to build that network and that community,” he said.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, less than 3% of doctors are black men, but the census reports that about 57% of Richmond County are black.
They also say the number of black men in medical school actually decreases from 1978 to 2014
Dr. Joseph Hobbs was one of the first African American students to attend the MCG.
He says he’s noticed that many skilled young black men are choosing to go into other STEM fields, like IT or cyber.
“A lot of the time they have to spend to develop these professions is shorter,” he said. “And those students are leaving and finding jobs faster.”
Black Men of MCG hopes to mentor other black men in the field, going to local high schools as part of outreach programs.
They say diversity not only impacts doctors or medical students, but also patients.
“A lot of research has shown, of course, that if you have providers who look like the people they’re serving, that pretty much eliminates a lot of those barriers,” said Dr. Justin Xavier Moore, assistant professor of epidemiology. at MCG.
Obstacles, such as hesitating about a life-saving procedure, or even getting vaccinated.
They hope that the diversity in the field can help not only doctors, but also the patients who need to trust them the most.
Copyright 2021 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.