African-American Women Struggle To Break Into Profession Dominated By White Men
Three Bay area physicians tell their stories about being apart of the small minority of female African-American doctors in the country.
San Jose Mercury News:
Three Bay Area Black Female Doctors Share Insights, Journeys
Stanford surgeon Dr. Leah Backhus is an esteemed member of a relatively tiny club in U.S. medicine she sometimes refers to as “two-fers:” female African-American doctors. They represent about 2 percent of the nation’s 877,616 active physicians but are among a growing trend in the country: A report last year from the Association of American Medical Colleges indicated that by 2013, black women 49 and younger made up a greater percentage of the U.S. physician workforce than black men in the same age group ....Backhus points to a recent report from the Oakland-based Greenlining Institute and the Artemis Medical Society, of which she is a co-founder, that included in-depth interviews with 20 female physicians of color from California and around the U.S.Among other revelations, 40 percent of the interviewees — most of them African-American — said they recalled a high school or college counselor attempting to discourage them from pursuing a medical career, while over half had questioned their prospects of succeeding as a physician because they had never met a doctor who shared their racial identity. (Seipel, 1/15)