ABOUT THE FILM: BLACK WOMEN IN MEDICINE

Black Women in Medicine honors Black women doctors around the country who work diligently in all facets of medicine. By telling the stories of women who have persevered in medical fields, in part by overcoming barriers linked to race and gender, the film provides audiences with visions of success and fuel for self-actualization.

Showcasing the most dynamic collection of stories of Black women in medicine ever assembled, this film is designed to inspire minority youth to enter the field of medicine despite challenges they may face.

Why Now? 

Nearly 14% of people currently living in the U.S. identify as Black. By contrast, Blacks represent only 4.5% of the physician workforce under 40. The percentage of female minority doctors is even smaller. As minority doctors are more likely to provide care to minority, underserved, and disadvantaged communities, their under-representation is a problem with potentially fatal consequences. Barriers separating youth of color from careers in medicine must be addressed if we are to foster a medical workforce that better reflects the diversity of the society it serves.

Black Women in Medicine amplifies the stories of trailblazing women and brings them within reach of those who most need to hear them. As we follow these stories, we journey through America’s sociopolitical evolution concerning gender equality and cultural diversification of professions. These narratives tell stories of excellence and perseverance that engage, inspire and motivate, planting seeds of aspiration in the minds of future doctors.

As former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders says in the film, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Black Women in Medicine replaces negative imagery – mainstream media’s false and debasing historical narrative regarding race, ethnicity, gender and character – with positive images of successful Black female doctors.

“We desperately need role models to come forward and share their stories, so that our children can consider careers in the health care professions,” says Dr. Claudia L. Thomas, the first Black female orthopedic surgeon. “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. Crystal 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.”

Quotes

“Black Women in Medicine in a very successful and meaningful susceptive way through narrative story and also through impactful historical reflection really takes us as a profession where we need to be.” – Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith

“When it comes to issues of representation and inclusion, I think this documentary does a good job of starting that conversation for people who aren’t privy to the issues yet.” – Robert Rock