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Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine Tackles Doctor Shortage


Last Updated on May 16, 2024

An African American woman in a white lab coat standing confidently with her arms crossed in front of the Xavier University of Louisiana entrance. She is smiling and the background features the university campus.

Addressing the Physician Shortage: Xavier University Opens Fifth HBCU On-Campus Medical School

Hey HBCU Fam, huge news out of Xavier University! They’ve recently kicked off the Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine (XOCOM), stepping up as the fifth HBCU to bring a medical school to campus. The timing couldn’t be better. With a doctor shortage on the horizon—Louisiana’s expected to be third in the nation for needing more MDs by 2030—XOCOM is stepping up big time. Plus, with only about 5.7% of U.S. doctors being Black, this new school is a major step towards shaking up the status quo in healthcare.

Meet Dr. Yolanda Lawson: Champion for Change

Dr. Yolanda Lawson, president of the National Medical Association, smiling in a professional portrait, wearing a blue blazer and a yellow blouse, accessorized with a pearl necklace and a Chanel brooch.

While Dr. Yolanda Lawson isn’t leading the establishment of the Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine, she is a vital advocate and supporter in her capacity as the president of the National Medical Association. Renowned for her commitment to healthcare equity, Dr. Lawson brings her voice and expertise to bolster this pivotal initiative. “We are not represented in these industries. As we represent the population in the United States…we are a key part of that solution,” Dr. Lawson explained in a recent interview.

What’s Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine Got Planned?

XOCOM is here to shake things up. It’s not just about boosting numbers; it’s about crafting doctors who understand and can tackle the health disparities that hit Black communities hardest. Dr. Lawson gets real about it: “We’ve got to have black physicians in the workforce,” noting the crucial role they play in healthcare.

Innovating Medical Education

The Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine is not playing it safe. They’re all in with new teaching methods like simulation labs and a strong focus on telemedicine—prepping students for the frontline of community healthcare. Dr. Lawson shared, “I’m addressing maternal and reproductive healthcare disparities, HIV disparities in cardiovascular disease,” pinpointing the urgent health crises they’re tackling head-on.

Real Talk: Community Impact

Dr. Lawson laid it out: having more Black docs could literally save lives, not just by improving healthcare but by building trust within the community. “Trust is reinforced…enhance that patient experience,” she emphasized, spotlighting how essential it is for patients to see doctors who look like them.

The Challenges Ahead

Sure, there are hurdles—funding, resources, you name it. But Dr. Lawson is up for the fight, stressing the importance of support at all levels to keep this dream alive. “What impact will it have on health disparities in this country? Because we solely believe…disparities should not exist.”

A Call to Arms from Dr. Lawson

Dr. Lawson’s not here just to lead; she’s here to inspire. “This is rebuilding what was taken away,” she passionately calls to those ready to make a difference, encouraging more HBCUs to start their own programs and fight for healthcare equity.

Get Involved: Your Part in This Journey

Feeling fired up? Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine is calling your name, whether you’re into supporting them, advocating for better policies, or just spreading the good word. Every bit counts. “Our work with Ochsner and other partners who hold close to their hearts a vision of healing a broken world is a testament to Xavier’s mission to promote a more just and humane society,” said Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University of Louisiana. 

Quick Facts
  • Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine’s Mission: Educate and empower future Black physicians.
  • Dr. Yolanda Lawson’s Vision: Address healthcare disparities head-on and increase the representation of Black physicians.
  • Stat to Know: Black Americans make up 13-14% of the U.S. population but only 5.7% of its physicians.
  • HBCU Impact: Black Colleges are responsible for producing approximately 70% of all Black doctors in the United States.

Join In: Make Your Mark

Ready to be part of something big? Check out Xavier University’s official website to learn more about how the Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine is changing the game and how you can help.

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