We know we need more diversity in the western world, which has largely been whitewashed over the course of the past two thousand years.
Twitter user @Oga_DoctorBlue shared an anecdote about a recent patient who had come in with severe weakness in his legs:
Why we need more black men in medicine. I had a patient this week who came in with left leg weakness over the last… https://t.co/QJy4uyrB22— SI6HTS (@SI6HTS)1535044986.0
He has a bit of blank stare as he listens to my attending try to explain what he has. He was told earlier he mightv… https://t.co/127Gvuzwnl— SI6HTS (@SI6HTS)1535045419.0
Quickly, he realized he was the only person of color in the room:
So we're running the patient list after rounding, and as we get to him my attending says somn like "idk if apathy i… https://t.co/r67Pq9MlNs— SI6HTS (@SI6HTS)1535045520.0
So after running the list, I don't even stick around with the team. I go straight back to dude's room and the code… https://t.co/kVbQQUMBm3— SI6HTS (@SI6HTS)1535046402.0
And he was glad that he asked:
Now I'm goin into detail on MS, how it's different from a stroke, and what it means for him long term. The real val… https://t.co/Dn50ddH78x— SI6HTS (@SI6HTS)1535046715.0
And now my dude understands what he has, why we need the tests we need, and what the rest of his life might look li… https://t.co/thGdzq7xQe— SI6HTS (@SI6HTS)1535047294.0
I'm in the right field fam.— SI6HTS (@SI6HTS)1535047516.0
A simple chance to connect with the patient is really all it took to get him to understand exactly what was going on in his brain.
@Oga_DoctorBlue Awesome bro. Good work.Patient advocacy is really missing in your field. I'm assuming you've read t… https://t.co/G2Ofs6nAxV— Eric Tullis (@Eric Tullis)1535155256.0
And the internet agrees: it matters.
@Oga_DoctorBlue Dope of u "2get it" and to do something about it. Kudos for being the one that got the job done. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾— deidei williams (@deidei williams)1535161404.0
@Oga_DoctorBlue I always say something like that at the end of a consultation. We are uniquely qualified to underst… https://t.co/veWrDa6SJe— Jessy (@Jessy)1535208831.0
@Oga_DoctorBlue Yes. You are.I would say training in cultural diversity is needed.Whether a doctor or nurse, one sh… https://t.co/7yOb4YGdrl— LaVorneZen (@LaVorneZen)1535162948.0
@Oga_DoctorBlue @_Warloch_ @Torias_Secret_ As a young black man starting dental school thank you for this thread an… https://t.co/BGpne2Kb7y— T’Challa’sStepBrother (@T’Challa’sStepBrother)1535249635.0
According to The New York Times, black men have the lowest life expectancy of any ethnic sub-group in the United States as a whole. If this small anecdote shows us anything, it's that the key to keeping black men healthy might be having more black men in the medical field. It could just save lives.