Black Male Responsibility Mentoring Development (BMRMD) is a strength-based psycho-education model that is gender and cultural specific. Being strength-based, BMRMD assesses the inherent strengths of young African American males including their culture of Hip-Hop and builds on them. BMRMD instills spirituality and cultural pride: it uses their personal strengths along with character development to aid in resiliency, empowerment, and delinquency prevention. Through the process of psycho-education, BMRMD seeks to reframe the perception of young Black males to be positively motivated; to find good and a chance of success even in the worst situation. BMRMD is based on the 4R’s of Reality, Responsibility, Respect, and Righteousness with the learning objectives of (1) Maturing to the facts of life, (2) Accountability and Self-Control, (3) Sense of Self-Worth and the worthiness of others, and (4) Moral conduct.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Very-Very Few Black Males in the Medical Profession, Black Male Mentoring Has the Responsibility in Increasing These Numbers

by Kenny Anderson

Recently I attended my 25 year-old son’s college graduation in Bismarck, North Dakota; he received a Doctor’s degree in Physical Therapy, he was the only Black graduate of a class of 48 students. 

As I sat through my son's graduation ceremony I thought about that earlier this month April 4th marked the 50th anniversary of the racist political assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That in 50 years in the post-civil rights era my son would be the only Black person graduating in his class. 

I looked at a recent study stating less than four percent of the physical therapy professionals are Black and less than one percent of those are Black males. Will it take another 50 years ‘2068’ to increase Black male Doctors in Physical Therapy to 2 percent!

Indeed, like the paltry number of Black male Doctors in Physical Therapy, the percentage of Black male medical doctors are very-very low. Currently there are fewer Black males applying to and attending medical school than in 1978; Black men enrolled in medical school in 1978 was 542 than in 2014, when only 515 enrolled.

David Williams of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s remarked that America needs more Black doctors, particularly Black male doctors, so that Black people will have more access to providers who are culturally connected to them who understand their lives and their challenges as much as their clinical needs. 

Williams cited one study that found that white doctors were less empathetic to Black patients near the end of their lives than Black doctors were. Another study found that a group of medical students thought wrongly that Blacks’ blood coagulates faster than that of whites, and that Blacks have more pain tolerance than whites. Increasing the number of Black doctors can increase the cultural competency of non-Black doctors around them to better understand the culture and circumstances of Black patients.

Many reports, surveys, and studies have found that Black doctors are far more likely than white doctors to establish practices and provide health care in Black communities; and that Black patients have expressed greater confidence in and satisfaction with the quality of care that they provide.

There’s been barely perceptible progress over a 50-year period with only 3.8 percent of medical doctors being Black and nowhere near representing 15 percent of their percentage of the US population. 

Due to racism that causes the uneven and poor quality of public education I don’t see the number of Black male medical professionals improving too much in the future; as professor Kimi Wilson stated: 

“I’ve learned how schools have traumatized generations of Black children in their quest to learn math and science. Thus, we as a nation must come to terms with who is encouraged and supported in Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) education - because clearly it isn’t Black people. I urge Black adults to visit a math and science classroom in their local schools and observe the type of pedagogies and learning occurring among Black children. Are Black youth positioned to transform their communities using math and science? Are images of Black mathematicians and scientists visible? If the answer to any of these questions is no, Black boys will remain distressed, and this places math and science education for them in a state of emergency.”

Regarding my son’s success in achieving a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, a major contributing factor along with his hard work 'commitment', was his exposure to strong Black males and participating in a Male Responsibility program that instilled in him Black self-esteem/self-confidence and educational expectations. 

From my perspective as a mentor it will take Black male mentoring intervention to play a very key role in encouraging and supporting (tutoring) Black boys to pursue careers in the medical profession.

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