MSSC seeks mentors for Black residents, students

In Community Health, Feature by admin

As part of an effort to recruit and retain more African American residents and medical students, MSSC is developing a mentoring program with Black members.

“Our aim is for these residents and medical students to have great experiences in Wichita, which would make them more likely to want to practice medicine here,” said Maurice Duggins, MD, who is helping lead the effort. “A key to having a positive experience is making connections in the community, including with practicing physicians.”

One frustration MSSC has heard from Black residents and medical students is that they don’t interact much with physicians who look like them. One resident mentioned that during the racial justice protests this summer, she longed to talk to another physician who could understand what she was feeling.

“Our hope is to connect more of these students with MSSC members,” Duggins said. “We would like to host social mixers, particularly for new students and residents.”

This initiative, which is working in close conjunction with KU School of Medicine-Wichita and the residency programs, is part of a larger MSSC effort to reduce health disparities facing African Americans. Research shows that Black patients, particularly Black men, tend to have better health outcomes when they are seen by Black physicians.

Because of the coronavirus and limits on gatherings, some of the outreach efforts will have to wait – such as social mixers. But MSSC hopes to use this time to organize and prepare for a full launch next year.

Physicians interested in being mentors, which could range from regular interactions to just being available if needed, should contact MSSC or Dr. Duggins.