Black Men in White Coats Event Inspires Youth to Pursue Healthcare Careers

Young boy dressed as physician

CCLCM participated in the recent Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit, sponsored in part by Cleveland Clinic and hosted by Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals.

The goals of this national event are to encourage young Black children to learn about a healthcare career and to foster both mentorship and networking. Local students in the third through 12th grades who attended were accompanied by the people who support them including parents, educators, guidance counselors and community leaders.

Monica Yepes-Rios, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Students at CWRU School of Medicine, moderated the Black Men White Coats documentary and panel discussion. The documentary explores why only 2% of American doctors are Black men and what that means for American society.

“This inaugural Cleveland BMWC Summit was incredibly successful in gathering over 300 participants to inspire a career in medicine or healthcare,” says Dr. Yepes-Rios. “The summit’s impact was best exemplified by a young student who raised his hand and said, ‘I don’t have a question; I just want to thank the panelists: You have inspired me.’”

Kendalle Cobb, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Associate Chief of Staff at Cleveland Clinic, moderated the keynote panel presentation entitled “Building a path towards a successful career in Medicine and Healthcare.” She spoke about her life journey and her work at Cleveland Clinic as well as how the organization is increasing its workforce diversity. Among the panelists were Cleveland Clinic physicians Carl Allamby, MD, and Troy Woodard, MD, Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Jazmine Oliver, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of DEI with CCLCM, was among the panelists for the keynote address “How to Raise a Doctor.”

One full day was dedicated to the Youth Summit and Resource Fair, where students engaged in hands-on activities, educational sessions and a chance to network with healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds.

The summit took place Oct. 21 and 22 at Case Western Reserve University.

View the local news coverage of the event.