A great opportunity laid on the table, but the draw of Europe was still irresistible to Dr. Rodgers. He soon moved back and completed a Fellowship in sports medicine in Belgium and then moved to England where he completed his Family Practice Residency. “My insatiable ambition drove me to London to see what else I could achieve,” Dr. Rogers tells BE Modern Man. “It was a great moment when I was asked to become the Medical Director of the London Sports Injury Clinic on the world-famous Harley Street. I am living the dream – just as the kid in the Bronx prophesied back in the 1950s. Belief is everything!”
Even with a potent mix of passion, belief and unquestionable skill-set, it hasn’t been easy for Dr. Ralph along his journey. “I was always taught that education levels the playing field or will at least get you to the table for an interview,” says Dr. Rogers. “This was not always the case. However, as my father would say, there are rules to the game.” Unfortunately prejudices and institutional racism still pervade our culture, and the only effective response is to keep your head down and continue to work hard. “On numerous occasions I have been over-qualified for jobs and was never even shortlisted.”
Although prejudices and institutional racism still seep into our culture, the walls of injustice can be torn down. “Being appointed First Team Doctor to Chelsea Football Club, one of the world’s best soccer teams is by far one of my greatest achievement,” says Dr. Rogers. “This is not because of the job itself, the title or the experience, but because the recruitment process was an open competition. The Chelsea FC Board hired an international executive recruitment agency to find the very best physicians and after three interviews, I was appointed to the job. This was the absolute pinnacle of my achievements, and still makes me proud today.”
Proud but far from satisfied, Dr. Rogers says that understanding the game — whatever your game is — is essential to break through the static to make an impact. He adds, “you have to educate yourself, prepare yourself, have self-belief and not take no for an answer. It’s simple really; do something you love, have passion and compassion, and at the end of the day, give something back.”
On the path of career discovery the pitfalls are many, and some unavoidable, but education and preparation in the intended profession will aid in overcoming obstacles. “I think one of the major pitfalls is to blame the system,” Dr. Ralph tells BE Modern Man. “We already know that there are problems within the system. Understand these problems and then just get on with it. Do not blame institutional racism; we know that’s there. Do not blame prejudice; we know that’s there. Understand how to manipulate and get through these issues. There is no point wasting energy by getting angry and making excuses. Constantly bemoaning that the system is against you is a heavy burden to carry and it can pull you away from the right path to success. To succeed you need to eliminate distractions and stay true to your own goal. Some might call it selfish, but I would call it staying “self-focused”.”
Often times more is caught than what is taught and this is why exposure is crucial. “It’s great to achieve extraordinary things, break barriers and push the boundaries – but if no one knows about it and no one is being inspired by it, then your success will always be limited,” says Dr. Rogers. Consistent exposure to extraordinary men will inspire young black men to not only do the right thing, but to know that they can do it. “If we can pass the concept of belief and self-worth through the generations, then that’s when we’ll be succeeding. That’s when we will be changing the future of an entire race.”
Perseverance, passion and an unwavering belief in ones-self along the path to career discovery will lead to finding ultimate purpose. Distinguished and undoubtedly a leader in the field of medicine, Dr. Rogers says that being a BE Modern Man means striving to be the best. He adds, “It’s all about motivating others within the community so that they can do it too, and giving opportunities to others who are less fortunate. It’s also about putting an arm around troubled youngsters with great minds and saying, “hey my man, you can do it.” I have been extremely fortunate in meeting great people, both Black and White, who have helped me and inspired me throughout my career. As a BE Modern Man I want to be the type of person who inspires the next generation to do great things.”
The BlackEnterprise.com team is honored to highlight Dr. Ralph Rogers as a BE Modern Man. His ability to combine his passion for sports, medicine, and people has taken him all over the world. With strong ethical values that continue to drive him today, Dr. Ralph is setting a standard for African American achievement while always reaching back to pull up talented individuals. We look forward to witnessing Dr. Ralph Rogers continue on his journey to greatness.
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