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Black males and the sciences

Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by Telekinesis, Jul 4, 2011.

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  1. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    I'm a student at a predominantly white school and lately as I advance in my credits and years I seldom see any other black males in my science classes. I'm always like 1 out of like 3 black males and I'm often the only pre-med. Is this the normal? Are black male pre-meds that hard to find?
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  2. KING3

    KING3

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    Short answer, YES! I read in the New York Times awhile ago that the percentage of African American physicians has not changed in the last 100 years. Get used to it but dont let it give you a chip on your shoulder.
  3. Techmed07

    Techmed07

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    I need proof
  4. KING3

    KING3

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  5. Winter Wind

    Winter Wind

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    That was my experience as well. There were a ton of black women in the sciences though. The ratio was ridiculous. So yeah, to answer your question that seems normal.
  6. PinkIvy08

    PinkIvy08

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    I'd say that unless you decide to go the HBCU route, this is what you're typically going to find where ever you go. I think things get a little bit better for state schools, but for most private schools you're going to find the % of black males low, in general. I remember in undergrad the frustration the Black females had because the guy/girl ratio was about 1:4...when you took out the sports members, the ratio jump to 1:6ish.

    Med school is worse. Well, the male/female ratio is slightly better, but the overall number of Blacks is obscenely low (with the exception being HBCUs and some state schools...and some top med schools that pride diversity and back that claim with $$$). That being said, I think the issue of race falls to the side in med school, as opposed to in undergrad. Just my experience though...
  7. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    That's the thing. I go to Texas A&M and in my orientation there where only 3 blacks kids including myself out of upwards of 800 students. My question is why do black males avoid the sciences so much?
  8. trackstr

    trackstr

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    I go to a small HBCU in South Carolina and I am still one of only two black males in my science classes. I feel your pain.
  9. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker Moderator Emeritus

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    It starts in high school.
  10. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    Why do you believe that?
  11. jweezy225

    jweezy225 Future Physician

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    It's the truth! I went to SUNY Binghamton and I was definitely one of maybe 4 or 5 black males in my pre-med classes. It didn't phase me, though, but I do always wonder why black men choose to go into other fields, e.g. business, instead of medicine.

    The percentage of African American males in medical school is disgustingly low! However, I think there are A LOT more African American females. In fact, at my girlfriend's medical school (she's black) there are lots of black females as well.
  12. Ugen

    Ugen Teeterer

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    There were 2 others of us I ever had class with as an undergrad and 3 of us in my medical school class. Being a doctor isn't what rosy eyed middle school black guys dream about when asked what they want to be when they grow up.
  13. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    Idk I did. I just didn't think a poor black kid from the ghetto could be a doctor.
  14. inspirationmd

    inspirationmd

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    Yeah...I was the only black male in my graduating class this year. There were two in the class above me and there is one in the class below me. Contrast that with the four black women who graduated with me and the 5 who are the new 4th years. That ratio is oretty much like that at all the med schools in the area. There are total of 3 black guys from my college who went to med school out of over 20 who started on the pre med track. Seriously you better get used to it because that is how it is at the med school and residency level. Very few of your colleagues will look like you and be your gender.
  15. jweezy225

    jweezy225 Future Physician

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    Haha, I like that!
  16. Winter Wind

    Winter Wind

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    Agree.
  17. mbm54

    mbm54

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    Very interesting comments...I graduated from Cornell which happens to be the largest ivy, yet I can recall only about 4 black males who went to medical school...throughout my 4 years as an undergrad! However, the number of black males who work at Goldman Sachs and the top business firms are much higher. Starting out, like 50% of the black community at my school was pre-med and within the first two years of school that number decreased significantly, especially for the black males. It would be great if there was some sort of mentorship program implemented to encourage minority students of color to continue on the pre-med track. So many times, people get a bad organic chem grade and they drop pre-med so quickly.
  18. PinkIvy08

    PinkIvy08

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    Good point! We had a decent number of Black males in ugrad that mostly started pre-med, joined a frat, then switched to the Wall Street track. Not saying that becoming Greek = Wall Street, just certain chapters had a streamline to Goldman. Most of the rest seemed to have a hard time with the transition to college, didn't do so well, and chose other fields that were less competitive or that they had connections to get a foot in the door.

    But yes, I believe a little mentoring can go a long way - not everyone understands the drive it takes to succeed in this field or that even if slip-up there are ways to get back on-track and achieve your dreams. (case-in-point: the number of fools I know on Wall Street) A lot of my Black male friends from ugrad just thought medicine was too far out of their reach, and there really wasn't anything any of us could do or say to change their mentality. Someone "like them" higher up probably would have made a big difference.

    In other news...at least in my experience in med school so far, everyone loves the few Black guys that are here...especially the white girls :laugh:
  19. Winter Wind

    Winter Wind

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    To many young black males becoming a doctor doesn't seem attainable. I know when I was in high school I wasn't even considering college let alone becoming a doctor. It just seemed out of reach to me. Most of us don't have people in our families that are doctors or who may have been to college to tell us the benefits of becoming successful.

    I actually had a talk with a young black male recently about this. He finished high school and was saying he wanted to become a rapper. I was trying to tell him that's cool and all but what if that doesn't fall through. You need a back up plan. He went into how college wasnt for people like him. That it's only for smart people and I had to stop him there because I believe that many people have more potential then they believe. I told him that if he believes he is not smart then he is defeating himself before he even starts. That as men we don't have time to fear failure and that he should go try and give it his all. I was like it's like rapping dude, you don't go out there expecting to fail. You go give it your best shot. After a very long conversation i finally got him to at least consider college. I told him everything isn't about being a genius, sometimes it's about the dedication and discipline that you apply to something.

    So yes, I agree that there is a need for more mentors outside of rappers and ballers for black males. Even I almost came close to not going to college because I didn't know the value of an education.
  20. Espadaleader

    Espadaleader

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    I feel your pain. I am the only African-American male Pre-Med at my college too. Medical school start at HS. Seriously. Most successful pre-meds begin volunteering, shadowing etc. in HS or they at least begin to "think" they can do it. Black males seldom have ANY postive role models, and most sucessful black males tend to pursue business/comm etc. A BIG difference from African males too....
  21. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    It's funny you say that. I used to tutor kids and I always had to encourage the kids to pursue education. I asked the kid what will he do if he gets hurt, he said that won't happen to him.

    Totally agree. I was fortunate to meet a black doctor that encouraged me to pursue medicine. Without her I would probably still be chugging away in school with no clear goal.
  22. Dr L Vuitton

    Dr L Vuitton

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    Yeah I went to Baylor... it was just as bad. Black male pre-med students decline through each of the 4 college years.

    I remember going to a Princeton Review Seminar in our gigantic classrooms and they said you have a better chance of getting into med school if you were a Black Male.. I stood up with my arms raised and yelled "Yea-yuhhh"..

    I was the only black dude in there.
    PhysioChick likes this.
  23. Techmed07

    Techmed07

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    I hope this is true. :xf:
  24. mbm54

    mbm54

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    Lol likewise!
  25. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    I sense a gunner attitude lol jk
  26. inspirationmd

    inspirationmd

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    Agree with the call for mentorship but at all levels not just high school. One of the big problems I see is that there are not enough Black male physicians (of the already few) who get involved in academic medicine. Most of us go straight to private practice which is ok but its tough for the guys at the med school level going through it to see no one at the school. The Black female attendings kind of help but its still not quite the same rotating as a Black man on a service as a Black female. At my school there were two in FM, 1 in Ortho (who left my 2nd year b/c of tenure issues), 1 in Anesthesia and that is pretty much it. My away rotations were not much better. So we are not represented as faculty, on committees, etc.

    Not sure if I will stay in academia but I will at least be putting myself in a position to do so if I want to. If I do I would be really interested in being faculty and becoming an assistant dean when I get out so I am putting myself in a position for that. Got some pubs, in talks with the Dean of Admissions to get a seat on the admissions committee at the Med School, and will do my best to be a great resident. Just going to take it one day at a time.
  27. sweetdaises2000

    sweetdaises2000

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    The bolded is the key to all health professions, in my personal opinion. This idea of "genius" being needed is so exaggerated, and needs to be replaced with a sense of work ethic, imo.
  28. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    Mentor-ship is great but we are fighting a losing battle if the parents aren't behind us. I recall an instance where I was trying to tutor a young man. We were working on work problems and I noticed he never really did his work unless you told him what the question wanted and even then he didn't know how to do it. I asked him once to read out loud and come to find out he couldn't read. The kid was in the 8th grade and no one knew that he couldn't read. I sent books home but his mom never helped him read.

    There seems to be a philosophy in the ghetto that college is for only the rich and smart. Kids are encouraged to skate by with Cs in high school negating any possible chances of college even if they were smart. I believe we as the next generation as professionals should go back and mentor the youth and personally take an interest in their lives. If even one child can be reached from our efforts we have done our jobs as role models.
  29. Winter Wind

    Winter Wind

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    I agree, I certainly thought you had to be rich and smart when I was younger. I plan to go back to mentor in high schools as much as possible. I like to help young people realize their potential.
  30. mTOR

    mTOR | veritas.vos.liberabit |

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    This. The bolded has a lot to do with the trend (my bracketed editorial replacements included of course lol).

    Kids are influenced by their peer culture. Peri-pubertal boys are influenced by their peer culture...... AND very strongly by their desire to acquire status, resources, and the ability to attract desirable mates (aka MONEY, POWER, HOES... or what I call the MPH factor). Pop culture influences both. So if you take a young dude growing up in a peer culture isolated from mainstream middle America, who do you think his idols (and the idols of his peers) are going to be? Likewise, who do you think he's going to emulate and aspire to be like?

    It's not Ben Carson.
  31. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    Totally agree.
  32. Dr L Vuitton

    Dr L Vuitton

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    My dad made me read Think Big by Ben "The Baller" Carson when I was in 3rd grade.. blew my mind..
  33. jessiemsy

    jessiemsy

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    I went to go see Ben Carson speak in middle school and I think that's when I decided I wanted to be a doctor. ;) Love that guy.

    I'm not a guy, and I know there are more black women in med school than men. But either way it's a sad state. When I look back I don't think I've ever had a black doctor in my life, male or female. And I'm 28. I looked up a stat the other day, blacks make up 4% and hispanics 3% of doctors. WTF?
  34. RavishingB

    RavishingB Novelist

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    This. Heck I've never even had a black teacher, and this is coming from someone who has attended predominately AA schools.
  35. Maalik Ashtaar

    Maalik Ashtaar

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    I went to a small HBCU and there weren't very many black men in upper level science classes, of the 4 male Bio major that graduated in 2009 [yeah I know] 2 of us are in medical school, another [my brother] is in a masters [he wanted to go to a DO but didn't make it] and the last wanted to do Physical Therapy but he took some time off to teach.
    I think it starts early definitely, but I also think that some people who easily have the potential to be doctors would rather take make bank without AS MUCH hard work and I really can't blame them for that.
    I'm trying to build up some mentorship programs through my undergrad and eventually expand to high schools and beyond but medical school keeps getting in my way
    Edit: I've never been treated by a black doctor [well besides my dad but I don't think that counts] but I've had a good amount of black teachers in undergrad.... although there were a lot more white science teachers despite it being an HBCU
  36. pharmddixon

    pharmddixon

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    .
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014 at 5:55 PM
  37. MayoorBust

    MayoorBust

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    :thumbup:
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  38. 410807

    410807

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    Make yourself a frequent visitor of your professor when he/she has office hours. This WILL help.
  39. Postal

    Postal

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    Wow. This is so true and I didn't even realize it until you guys mention it. I always wondered why every black man wanted to go into business.

    I think someone else mentioned it but I think a lot of fault falls with parents and family as well. Mentorship works great when there's a supportive system behind them. My high school classmates thought I was a genius when all I did was study to get good grades, which lead to getting into college and medical school. I think alot of them would have made it too if their parents or families would have pushed them to succeed and not have settled for c's. It's sad to see but a lot of parents don't even see their own children attending college or graduate school. They also think its for the rich and "smart".
  40. klm84

    klm84

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    If you want to get away from being alone, I say try big schools in big cities. I came from Pitt undergrad and there were a decent number of Black men and women in SNMA and they helped out the Pre-med Organization for Minority Students that I was in a lot. It may still be a smaller percentage but in bigger places its enough to be a good number of people.
  41. YoungGregory

    YoungGregory

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    this.
  42. Croooz

    Croooz Senior Member

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    As previously mentioned the family makes a huge difference along with the young man's view of himself. My boy who is an attending now graduated med school at 42. He was the only Black male in his class. He went to undergrad, joined a frat, and then had to leave school. He joined the military and it wasn't until he told a Black MD that he dreamed of becoming a doc that this MD worked to convince him he could do it. At 30 he started taking courses and was finally accepted at 37. At my friends MD graduation party his brothers, mother, and father all told me that they doubted he would ever be able to do it. They discouraged him every step of the way. Every test, every visit home, every conversation my friend had to deal with his family's insecurities. This is from a man who was raised in a two-parent home along with his whole friends being from two-parent homes. It's a matter of belief and the more men who ignore the naysayers and go for it, the more we will see, and believe.

    I'm a pastor-in-training in a predominantly White denomination. The rest of the denomination marvels how our congregation has had up to 5 interns and all either Hispanic or Black. The reason? A Black pastor. It's no secret. The more our young Black men see Black MD's the more they will believe. My friend knows this and speaks regularly at schools. Like or not Black men are ambassadors of the profession to Black young men....and sometimes even to a Cuban. :D
  43. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    That's what I wanna do. Be a symbol that shows these kids just because you come from poor environments, you can succeed if you work for it. So often people are concerned with "getting mine" that they forget this fact.
  44. Doctor246853

    Doctor246853

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    Ha! I rarely saw any black males in my first intro college courses. Hell, on the campus period. I dont mind, I just represent.:cool:
  45. HM3

    HM3

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    I go to a cheap public school in Cali and there are hardly any AA males anywhere on campus. As far as Science classes go - I'm usually the only one.
  46. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Gig 'Em

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    I only encountered thus far one other male in my classes.
  47. PantherPride

    PantherPride

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    Interesting, I'm an AA entering tamu as a freshman and majoring in chemistry :D

    My chem class has 2 black guys out of 290, which is ridiculous, especially for a lower level science course..
  48. evans2000

    evans2000

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    yeah I am the only black in my class as a premed student. Most Afro Ame thinks schooling is made for the whites and not for them. It's weird. I don't but I don't look at that. I want to be a doctor beyond all circumstances. I don't care if I am the only black. It's a great challenge,and I love it because it makes me bend my back to study. Don't give up folk you will get there..............
  49. EWO

    EWO

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    LOVE the positiveness!?! You have a GREAT attitude/outlook! I agree 100%!?! GL as well!
  50. Victory4Zim

    Victory4Zim contemplating...

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    Wow this is a really interesting thread. I remember in high school I was in the honors program, but interestingly my situation was kinda reversed... there were only 5 blacks and I was the only black girl :p I remember in honors physics, there was a black African American male who totally blew everyone's mind. He got a full scholarship to a top 5 uni for engineering :) In honors math there was this one kid who could solve the square roots of crazy digits and long decimals real fast without a calculator.

    At my undergrad i know only 2 black male preMeds, both have decided to no longer apply this cycle. I know 2 other black female preMeds, but one has decided to go the PA/MLP route. I know a younger black female who's a sophomore and initially wanted to do preMed but then changed her mind. I tried so hard to convince her to revert but..

    I think the overall message here is that minorities need more encouragement, especially to stick with the preMed route and apply. The true issue is how can we do that? Our stories encourage those near to us, but we definitely need programs and organizations that make our voices/stories reach much larger audiences

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