Letter to the Editor in TNP

The following is a letter to the Editor published in the recent 20th anniversary edition of The New Physician, a national peer-reviewed magazine by AMSA:

The Necessity of Culturally Competent Physicians

More cultural competency is needed amongst our physicians. As a first-year African-American medical student with limited knowledge, I still observe this deficit in our medical education. True, we are taught that certain predispositions exist within certain population groups; however, we are not educated about such causes in a way that produces true empathy and understanding.

Certainly, without training, we cannot truthfully expect a Caucasian male from a high socioeconomic background, hypothetically speaking. to identify with a Latin-American female who lives on government assistance or an Arabian woman who insists on her husband being her mouthpiece. Furthermore, some ethnic patients may believe that cancer can be contracted from contact with contaminated blood, among other misconceptions.[1] Many physicians are unfamiliar with this educational gap that exists between different cultures.[2],[3]

How can we bridge this disparity? We must teach physicians that it is their personal duty to take initiative and incorporate cultural competency into their practice.[4] African-American male physicians comprise less than three percent of the workforce.[5] Statistically, a young black male with personal issues will most likely see a Caucasian male physician. This young man may give vague answers to the physician to save embarrassment, but that will cost the culturally incompetent physician unnecessary time investigating the non-specific clues he was given. If, however, the physician is culturally competent, then rapport may be established, and the young man may give honest and direct answers. Cultural competency affords better medical practice.


Georgia Highlands Speech Competition (Affirmative Action)

The following is my award-winning speech on affirmative action. I delivered it at the inaugural GHC Speech Competition in 2011. The type of speech was persuasive. Feel free to drop me an email to initiate conversation. You don’t have to agree with me; I enjoy conversation. Heck, I may even change my mind! I’m always seeking truth – not defending my position to the point of irrationality. Thanks!

Affirmative Action Speech