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Parent Survival Guide: Charleston student-run club helps minority medical students soar

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 11:21 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2021 at 7:37 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - According to a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, Black men comprise only 3% of the overall community of physicians.

For 25-year-old Third Year Ross University School of Medicine student Ifeanyichukwu Ozobu, a love of the medical field started early on in life.

“Middle school my interest started by taking biology classes and being an athlete helped me gain interest in the medical field,” Ozobu said.

Ozobu says he realizes he’s a minority in the medical arena.

In 2019 Ozobu, along with two other students started Black Male Doctors to help other black medical students like themselves.

The club at Ross University School of Medicine has a goal of providing a safe space for underrepresented students like Ozobu. He says the club also provides support for a student’s medical journey.

“We provide tutoring sessions, social outings, comradery and to relax and enjoy each other we also have mental health sessions,” Ozobu said.

Ross University School of Medicine Chair and Associate Professor Dr. Ricardo Hood is encouraged by the club’s goal.

“There’s a difference in the kind of support a black male needs in medical school that’s not necessarily accomplished by other groups,” Hood said.

“I would say it’s vital the support it gives,” Ozobu continued.

When the Black Male Doctors club first started Ozobu says there were 20 members. He says the student-run club has since tripled in size to about 60 students.

“The journey though medical schools not easy and it gets easier when you have people around you or the community to help you out so that was the main reason to start the group,” Ozobu said.

Ozobu also hopes to also reach out to the younger generation in minority communities and pique the interest of more youth.

“Getting those students to have an interest early on can help solve the problems we have. That’s our main objective to increase the number of minorities in the field and minorities lack that representation,” Ozobu said.

According to Ross University School of Medicine, the impact of the organization has been huge.

Since the launch of the Black Male Doctors club, the enrollment of medical sciences students at the school has nearly doubled.

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