According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, there is currently a lack of Black men in medicine. In recognition of Black History Month, we spoke with Dr. Aaron Ellison, primary care physician at Research Medical Center, to hear his experience and recommendations for the next generation of Black medical professionals.
“Many young minorities believe that the idea of becoming a physician is unobtainable. This is partially because they often don't see people who look like them in healthcare professions. Being a role model to young people and letting them know that it is indeed possible to be a doctor is a tremendous source of pride for me,” said Dr. Aaron Ellison, primary care physician at Research Medical Center.
His advice for Black medical professionals would be to never doubt yourself and never give up. He would also advise the next generation to find a mentor and gain as much knowledge as possible about careers in healthcare. For high school and college students interested in healthcare, Dr. Ellison recommends enrichment programs to introduce students to the medical field. A pivotal moment in his life came after his sophomore year of college where he spent the summer at a medical school surrounded my other minority students from all over the country. He was mentored by current medical students and gained first-hand knowledge of what it takes to get to medical school and succeed. It was during the time that he knew medicine was the right path for him.
“I believe that being a primary care physician has allowed me to best fulfill the mission of helping others,” said Dr. Ellison. “It is well-known that there are significant disparities in healthcare for minorities and part of what I do every day is try to combat some of those disparities. My training started in a clinic that took care of the underserved and I continue to strive to meet the needs of underserved patients to this day.”
Dr. Ellison takes pride in not only being the doctor for patients who otherwise may not see a physician, but also for being a friend, counselor, and confidant. At this stage in his career, he takes tremendous pleasure in being able to practice in the community that he grew up in.