JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders at the University of Mississippi are speaking out.
A new national study says there are not enough black men that are doctors.
There is a major shortage of doctors in Mississippi.
More than 80 percent of the counties here are underserved.
But, a well-respected medical organization says increased diversity among doctors can fix this problem.
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports the numbers of black men applying to medical school is decreasing.
The last time numbers were higher than they are at the present time was way back in the late 1970s.
“Really a damning indictment on medical schools across the country,” Dr. Jerry Clark, an Associate Dean at University of Mississippi Medical Center, said.
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“A lot of times children listen to their environment. They listen to peers and you tell them about being a doctor, it’s so far-fetched that they don’t even want to try to attempt to look at it. It’s easier to become an NFL football player than a doctor,” Jeremy Stocks, a medical student at UMMC, said.
Stocks grew up in the city of Jackson and graduated from Jim Hill High School.
He’s now in his second year of medical school learning alongside Michael Chiadika, also a Jim Hill graduate.
They want to be role models.
“I feel like their aren’t as many opportunities to see black medicine,” Michael Chiadika, a medical student at UMMC, said.
Now, the University of Mississippi is joining in the fight
“We owe it to the state of Mississippi. We owe it to young people to have the opportunity and future patients to have choices,” Dr. Clark said.
Professor Clark is pushing for more black men in his program and is guaranteeing success.
WJTV’s Brittany Noble-Jones will sit down with a recruiter from the medical school at UMMC on Tuesday, December 15.
Learn what they are doing to recruit more black men into their program.
Plus, if you want to become a doctor, I will tell you exactly what you need to do to be successful.
I was also told if you earn a seat in the program you will be a doctor.
Tune into WJTV News at 4:30 a.m to see the full report.