‘Black Men in White Coats Summit’ aims to inspire youth in medical field

Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Students, parents, teachers and education leaders attended Case Western Reserve’s inaugural Black Men in White Coats Summit Saturday.

The university’s school of medicine worked alongside University Hospitals to bring the event together, with the goal to inspire youth with interest in the medical field.

Aaron Shields opened up about he desire to be a doctor at the summit, speaking about a painful chapter in his life that led him here.

“I hope to bring more awareness to the black community my grandfather passed away because he refused to go to the doctor. Same with my grandmother,” he said.

This event was not only created to inspire, but to explore why only 2% of doctors in America are black men, and what that means for society.

Celina Cunanan, chief diversity, equity and belonging officer at Case, said this is also a great way to expose students to the medical profession.

“I had those opportunities and not every kid has those opportunities, and we need more people in healthcare the post pandemic era has left hospitals decimated for work force,” Cunanan added.

Kai James, a high school who attended the summit, is already preparing to become a therapist.

“I’m excited cause my mom pushed it,” he said.

For him and the many others that were in attendance today, this is an open door to unlimited opportunities in the future.

More information about the organization, as well as resources for those interested, can be found on their website.