New group at MCG hopes to diversify the medical field

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 7:48 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There’s a new group on the Medical College of Georgia campus. Black Men of MCG hopes to add some diversity to the med school, and provide opportunities to existing students.

“A lot of us didn’t even know the [fourth year medical students], or didn’t even know how many residents MCG had,” said Ryan Johnson, a med school student and group organizer. “And being a Black man 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 in which we could reach out, so I wanted to basically build that network and community,” he said.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, less than 3 percent of physicians are Black men, but the Census reports about 57 percent of Richmond County is Black.

They also say the number of Black men in medical school actually decreased from 1978 to 2014

Dr. Joseph Hobbs was one of the first African American students to attend MCG.

He says he’s noticed many qualified young Black men choose to go into other S.T.E.M fields, like I.T. or cyber.

“A lot of time they have to spend to develop those professions is shorter,” he said. “And those students walk away, and go into jobs more quickly.”

Black Men of MCG hopes to mentor other black men into the field, going to local high schools in outreach programs.

They say diversity doesn’t just impact doctors or med school students, but patients too.

“There has been a lot of research that has shown, of course, if you have providers that look like the people in which they’re serving, it pretty much knocks down a lot of those barriers,” said Dr. Justin Xavier Moore, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at MCG.

Barriers, like hesitancy towards a life saving procedure, or even getting vaccinated.

They hope diversity in the field can help not only the doctors, but the patients who need to trust them the most.

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