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'Made for Medicine' exposes Black kids to careers in the medical field

Made for Medicine will launch a second cohort in February with a six-week course.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Local doctors, many with Columbus roots, are taking time from doing rounds and check-ups to bring their field into focus for a new generation. 

"Made for Medicine" is a matter of hometown pride and the future of medical care, according to Dr. Laura Espy-Bell, the initiative's founder and lead faculty.

The initiative was created to build a pipeline for Black and African American middle school students, exposing them to careers in medicine.

The children get this hands-on enrichment with the goal of setting them up through high school and beyond to become physicians. Dr. Espy-Bell, for example, is an emergency medicine specialist with Mid-Ohio Emergency Services. Espy-Bell said, “I wanted the students to see themselves in us. Also it was intentional that the majority of the physicians in the program are from Columbus.” 

Most of the physicians who teach in the program look like the children, too. Dr. Espy-Bell said she was intentional in designing the program to address a disturbing statistic: “Only 5% of all physicians in the United States are Black and only 2% of those are Black women." 

Made for Medicine will launch a second cohort in February with a six-week course. Doctors who were involved in the first cohort described it as immensely rewarding. 

“These kids gravitate toward it unlike anything I've really experienced,” said Dr. William J. Hicks, II who is co-director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. “It's extremely rewarding for the physicians that are part of the faculty to see a kid who wants to get everything that you have.”

Applications for the six-week Made for Medicine course starting in February are being accepted now. You can apply here

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