Stony Brook Hosts Inaugural Black Men In White Coats Youth Summit
The Renaissance School of Medicine collaborated with Stony Brook’s Black Men in White Coats chapter to organize the first-ever youth summit.
In a concerted effort to address the historical underrepresentation of Black men in the medical field, the Renaissance School of Medicine collaborated with Stony Brook’s Black Men in White Coats chapter to organize the first-ever Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit, as reported by the Stony Brook University News.
On Nov. 16, the event welcomed over 500 participants, including 3rd to 12th-grade students, educators, parents, college students, healthcare professionals, and community leaders from Suffolk, Nassau, and New York City.
The Summit, funded by the Renaissance School of Medicine and the University and Hospital Community Relations Office, drew support from over 100 faculty, staff, and student volunteers. Dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine Peter Igarashi, MD, emphasized the importance of increasing diversity in healthcare, saying, “The most important goal today is to promote a diverse healthcare workforce, and the reason for that is that very diverse healthcare teams outperform teams that are not as diverse.”
Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Gregson Pigott, MD, shared his experiences as a minority in healthcare, highlighting the impact of representation in the medical profession. He stressed, “Representation matters in all aspects of healthcare for all aspects of this field.” Pigott’s reflections mirrored national trends, showing that patients are more likely to be open about their health concerns with doctors of the same race.
The Summit included workshops for high school students on financial aid, admissions, and various schools within Stony Brook University. Meanwhile, elementary and middle school students engaged in hands-on activities related to medical fields, including interactive experiences with robotic surgery machines and ultrasound machines.
Anthony Giambrone, a fifth-grade teacher, expressed the importance of engaging students, noting, “It’s also great because the people in white coats are all people of color, and all our students are people of color. So they’re seeing themselves in these professions, and hopefully, it will inspire them to see that they can work in these professions.”
The event concluded with remarks from Brian Harper, MD, vice president for Equity and Inclusion and chief medical officer at the New York Institute of Technology. Harper shared personal experiences and emphasized the significance of overcoming obstacles in pursuing success. Raymond Uduba, president of the Stony Brook chapter of Black Men in White Coats, highlighted the event’s importance, providing young Black and brown individuals an opportunity to explore the medical field and gain insights from those working in healthcare.
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