By: Krystle Crossman
To kick off Black History Month, WORLD Channel is premiering a show that features successful and intelligent black female doctors. The show is called Black Women in Medicine and it follows a number of doctors who work hard every day to care for their patients and save lives. The series is being produced by American Public Television. The directors have worked hard to show everyone that black female doctors are capable of doing so much in the medical field that some may not think they can. This stems from an incident last fall on an airplane where a passenger needed help and a black female doctor stepped up to help. No one on the plane acknowledged that she could be a doctor because of her skin color.
During the series you will see patients who are in emergency situations and the doctors that help them through it all. Filmmaker Crystal Emery wrote, produced, and directed the series. She says that she wants to raise awareness about the fact that there are so few black doctors in the medical field and there need to be more. She hopes that the number of practicing black female doctors will rise from the current 4.5% to 7% by 2030. At this time in the U.S. there are only six black female cardiothoracic surgeons. Dr. Jennifer Ellis is one of these surgeons. She had a part in the series to show that black women can take themselves to prominent medical careers if they put in the work and believe that they can do it.
Along with this series Emery has also put together a coffee table book of 100 African American female physicians called Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine. She has a profound respect for black female doctors after going through many medical emergencies herself. She is a paraplegic and has faced a lot of challenges in her life. Making this series is a way for her to show that no matter what gender or what color the doctor who is treating you is, they are going to give you the same level of care that you would expect. She is trying to start a movement called Changing the Face of Medicine which she hopes will inspire young black women to enroll in medical programs and join other amazing black women in the medical field.