Hurdles, Metamorphoses, and Acts of Kindness: Black Physicians' Experiences in Medical Education

Atkins-Brady, Tara L. , Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Caldwell, Michael, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Heinecke, Walter, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Fang, Wei Li, School of Medicine, University of Virginia
Woode, Moses, School of Medicine, Diversity Programs, University of Virginia

Minorities, particularly Blacks, are severely underrepresented in the medical professions. Those who desire to become physicians must embark on a lengthy and complicated journey through high school, college, medical school, residency training, and transition to practice. For many, the passage through these stages is not without significant challenges. If more Black youth are to enter and graduate from medical school, medical and education professionals need further insight into the perspectives and experiences of Black students who have completed the journey known as Medical Education. Such insight will enable medical educators to better understand the conditions which promote success in achieving this goal, and apply that knowledge in addressing the problem of the underrepresentation of Blacks in medicine.

How do those who have successfully completed this journey perceive their own experience? This qualitative study addresses this question through analysis of in-depth interviews with six Black physicians. Physicians were asked to reconstruct their medical education experience and then to reflect on that experience -- to explore what it means to them and how they understand, or make sense of, their own progression toward earning a medical degree. Relevant literature, methodology, findings, and implications for change and further research are discussed.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
black physicians, medical education
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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