Dr. Kim Rhoads helped set up the pop-up Umoja Health clinic in Oakland to vaccinate black residents.

California is short of black doctors. Here’s how the state can add more

I still remember one of the first times I helped treat a black patient.

I was on an OB-GYN rotation during my clinical year at UCSF School of Medicine, and I did what any other medical professional would do. I tried to put the patient at ease. I asked him questions and listened carefully to his answers. It felt like a normal conversation where I was trying to gather information and provide health advice in equal measure.

But as I was leaving the clinic that day, wearing my white coat, a black woman from the office ran after me to tell me how proud she was – and how important it was for her to see someone. one like me learning to become a doctor.

It’s no surprise that black Californians wish there were more black providers in our healthcare system. Black doctors are rare in California, accounting for about 3% of the state’s total number of doctors for decades.

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