Black Men in Medicine

David looks off to the distance outside on campus.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

David standing outside the Engineering fountain while wearing a white sweatshirt and grey peacoat.

I have always wanted to be a doctor; ever since I was little. My parents often told stories of me as a kid, how I was always fascinated with the medical world.

It might just be my parents being parents, trying to encourage their child; either way it helped inspire my love for medicine. Growing up I didn’t really know many doctors that looked like me, until I discovered Dr. Ben Carson. Not many African Americans were doctors, much less a neurosurgeon. I learned about Dr. Carson in his book, Gifted Hands, where he told his life story, highlighting his struggles as a young adult and his path to becoming a neurosurgeon. He is known all over the world for separating conjoined twins at John Hopkins Children’s Center in September 1987. This was the first time conjoined twins have ever been successfully separated. His story has inspired many just like me all around the world to believe that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. 

Growing up Dr. Carson lived with his mom, Sonya, and brother in Detroit, after their father abandoned them for his other family. His mother often had to work two to three jobs just to keep their family afloat. Despite all their financial problems his mom always made education a priority for he and his brother. She made them read as often as possible, and this helped Dr. Carson develop a love for reading and greatly improved his academic success. However, he was always getting in trouble and getting into fights at school; almost stabbing one of his classmates at a certain point. But he was able to deal with his issues and go to college. He graduated with a psychology degree, eventually attending medical school, where his eye-hand coordination and three-dimensional thinking made him a top neurosurgeon.

Not too long after medical school, he became the chief surgeon at John Hopkins Medical School, where he went on to accomplish many things. Dr. Carson once said, “Successful people don’t have fewer problems. They have determined that nothing will stop them from going forward.” This quote and his life story are things that inspire me daily and remind me that I can achieve my goal no matter the obstacle that is in my way.

David posing outside Rowan Hall by the fountain wearing all black and holding his grey peacoat over his shoulder.

References: 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/11100.Ben_Carson 

https://www.biography.com/political-figure/ben-carson

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Story by:
David Malomo, junior biological sciences major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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