Milwaukee couple works for more Black doctors in Wisconsin

Right now, there’s a shortage of African American doctors in Wisconsin. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2019, less than 2% of Black Wisconsinites start medical school each year. Two Milwaukee doctors are working to change that narrative. Dr. Delicia Randle-Izard knows the importance of feeling comfortable and building trust in a doctor’s office is. “There are better outcomes when it comes to maternal-fetal health and things when you have a physician who looks like you,” she said. “Also men tend to do better with a physician that looks like them.” That’s why she and her husband, Dr. Tito Izard started Pipeline to Practice, in December of 2020. “Some of the initial things is making sure that we are able to properly identify African American students that really are interested and passionate and would love to be physicians, but because they’re disconnected partly because of the schools that they go to and the lack of networking resources that they have, “Izard said.Pipeline to Practice is a community-based collaborative helping African American students who are interested in becoming physicians get through medical school. “It can be overwhelming, but they know they have a resource when they have questions and concerns that they’re there,” Randle-Izard said. “We’re always available for them.” According to the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2019, Black students were the least likely to apply to medical school, compared to other races. “I want to say it’s been a pretty great process primarily because of this program, “said Diwante Shuford, one of the 20 students enrolled in the program. Students who are enrolled in Pipeline to Practice have access to advising, mentoring and networking. “I’ve been able to meet with a lot of doctors and shadowed them. I’ve been given an internship,” another student Trinity Davis said. “I’ve been given the opportunity to speak to patients about certain health issues.” Now, the program specifically targets students who are American descendants of slavery. “That is the most disadvantaged, disenfranchised group of all the minority population groups,” Izard said. “It’s important for us to understand that to say it’s not a divisive program, but what it is addressing the most disparate population group.” Students said the program has not only opened doors of opportunity but has also given them hope. Angelique Compton, a student enrolled in Pipeline to Practice, said meeting Dr. Tito Izard was inspiring. “He was the first African American physician I ever met in my life and it impacted me and changed me into wanting to go into the medical field, I was discouraged because I thought I could not because of my ethnicity,” she said.Pipeline to Practice is available for students at any time in their careers. It can be from high school to residency. It is a fairly new program though and so far no students have completed it just yet.

Right now, there’s a shortage of African American doctors in Wisconsin.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2019, less than 2% of Black Wisconsinites start medical school each year.

Two Milwaukee doctors are working to change that narrative.

Dr. Delicia Randle-Izard knows the importance of feeling comfortable and building trust in a doctor’s office is.

“There are better outcomes when it comes to maternal-fetal health and things when you have a physician who looks like you,” she said. “Also men tend to do better with a physician that looks like them.”

That’s why she and her husband, Dr. Tito Izard started Pipeline to Practice, in December of 2020.

“Some of the initial things are making sure that we are able to properly identify African American students that are really interested and passionate and would love to be physicians, but because they are partially disconnected because of the schools that they go to and the lack of networking resources that they have, “Izard said.

Pipeline to Practice is a community-based collaborative helping African American students who are interested in becoming physicians get through medical school.

“It can be overwhelming, but they know they have a resource when they have questions and concerns that they’re there,” Randle-Izard said. “We’re always available for them.”

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2019, Black students were the least likely to apply to medical school, compared to other races.

“I want to say it’s been a pretty great process primarily because of this program,” said Diwante Shuford, one of the 20 students enrolled in the program.

Students who are enrolled in Pipeline to Practice have access to advising, mentoring and networking.

“I’ve been able to meet with a lot of doctors and shadowed them. I’ve been given an internship,” another student Trinity Davis said. “I’ve been given the opportunity to speak to patients about certain health issues.”

Now, the program specifically targets students who are American descendants of slavery.

“That is the most disadvantaged, disenfranchised group of all the minority population groups,” Izard said. “It’s important for us to understand that to say it’s not a divisive program, but what it is addressing the most disparate population group.”

Students said the program has not only opened doors of opportunity but has also given them hope.

Angelique Compton, a student enrolled in Pipeline to Practice, said meeting Dr. Tito Izard was inspiring.

“He was the first African American physician I ever met in my life and it impacted me and changed me into wanting to go into the medical field, I was discouraged because I thought I could not because of my ethnicity,” she said.

Pipeline to Practice is available for students at any time in their careers.

It can be from high school to residency.

It is a fairly new program though and so far no students have completed it just yet.

.

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