black history month

The Urgent Call to Action for Getting More ‘Black Men in White Coats'

The focus of the mission seems simple, but raising awareness is a challenge. That will not only be the focus of a panel discussion but a new documentary: 'Black Men in White Coats.'

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Continuing a national movement to get more Black men, in white coats.

A North Texas doctor has made it his mission of shaping a more diverse generation in health care.  

Thursday, a panel of Black male clinicians and medical leaders will discuss the issue of the lack of black men in health care. This group will discuss why it’s important, the types of things Black men face, and how people can come together to make health care better for everybody.

While the focus of the mission seems simple, raising awareness is a challenge. That will not only be the focus of the panel discussion but a new documentary: "Black Men in White Coats."

Dr. Dale Okorodudu has partnered with medical schools across the country to host virtual screenings of the documentary for their hospitals and students. Hundreds of virtual screenings are planned across the country to raise awareness and to empower those who never saw themselves in a white coat until they saw a doctor that looked like them. 

Okorodudu is a pulmonary and critical care physician practicing at the Dallas VA Medical Center and also the Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center.  

“I want them to walk away feeling empowered. I want them to walk away feeling as though they have a role in this. I want them to walk away feeling as though this impacts them as well,” said Okorodudu. “Because it impacts them, they should want to take part in the solution. They can take part in the solution. So I want them to walk away saying, hey I can do something about this too.”  

“As a Black man myself, it was important for me to help convey that message,” said film director, Micah Autry. “Because I’m talking about my health, my family’s health, and things of that nature, so it was really important to have a Black male director on this film.”

The big theme of the documentary is, “You can’t be, what you can’t see,” and the importance of exposure. Autry says he didn’t even meet his first Black male physician until he was a senior in college.

The documentary, "Black Men in White Coats," is available to watch. Click here for more information.

Okorodudu has partnered with UT Southwestern to host Thursday’s panel discussion which starts at 12 p.m. To register and join the conversation, click here.

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