Nicole Brown, BlackDoctor.org Staff Writer
Black women continue to sprinkle their melanin magic throughout the medical field despite all odds.
And one award-winning documentarian is eager to shed light on these successes.
Black Women in Medicine highlights the inspiring stories of women who broke the glass ceilings in their profession while overcoming various obstacles – including racism, sexism and the lack of educational opportunities.
“Black Women in Medicine will provide a heavy helping of motivation for chasing one’s dreams, not just to young Black Americans but to all Americans and world citizens,” said Crystal R. Emery, the film’s director and producer.
Black Americans only make up a small section of all doctors in the U.S., 4.5 percent to be exact, according to Emery. Of that population, 2 percent are Black women.
“We desperately need role models to come forward and share their stories, so that our children can consider careers in the health-care professions,” said Dr. Claudia L. Thomas, the first Black female orthopedic surgeon.
Thomas is one of the women featured in Black Women in Medicine, which world premieres in New York (Cinema Village) Aug. 26 through Sept.1. Afterwards, the film will screen in Los Angeles (Laemmle’s Music Hall) from Sept. 2 through Sept. 8.
“We need to reach a point where a patient isn’t surprised to see a Black female doctor is their heart surgeon, or their primary care physician or the expert consulted on their orthopedic surgery,” Thomas continued. “Emery has made those role models come forward and heralds their success, so that a 10-year-old Black girl today can envision herself as a physician.
Emery, a quadriplegic due to a form of muscular dystrophy, recently launched a national initiative, “Changing the Face of Medicine.” Its mission is to increase the number of Black doctors from 4 percent to 7 percent by 2030.
“My mission is to create work that inspires people everywhere to challenge self-imposed and other-imposed limitations so as to reach their fullest potential,” Emery said.
To help get Black Women In Medicine to the Oscars, visit the film’s crowdfunding website here.