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Cultural Events

Library Planning ‘Black Men In White Coats’ Film Screening, Panel Discussion



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NOTE (Monday, August 2, 2021): This post has been updated with the current title for Dr Iftikar Ali.)

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C.H. Booth Library is planning a three-day open film screening to be followed by a panel discussion in August.

The public will have the opportunity to stream Black Men in White Coats, a series of short documentaries that seek to increase the number of Black men in the field of medicine by exposure, inspiration, and mentoring.

In 2013, the Association of American Medical Colleges released an alarming report informing the nation that the already low number of Black male applicants to medical school was decreasing.

Struck by the dismal statistic, physician and filmmaker Dale Okorodudu, MD, committed himself to galvanize the academic medical community and the public to tackle the problem. The issue was amplified in 2015 when the Association of American Medical Colleges released a report, based on a study led by Nivet, that revealed the number of Black male medical school applicants was lower in 2014 than in 1978.

Diversity advocates say closing the diversity gap is critical to eliminating mistrust among African Americans about the American health care system based on experiences of bias and a history of unethical medical experimentations performed on Black patients. This mistrust is a contributing factor to existing health care disparities affecting Black patients, including the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the African American community.

Black Men In White Coats has partnered with various medical schools across the country to produce the short documentary videos which bring awareness to this issue that not only affects the Black male population, but also the nation as a whole.

Between January 2016 and April 2018, 13 documentaries were released.

Booth Library will have free tickets to access the series between 1 am Wednesday, July 28, and midnight Friday, July 30. Tickets will be available soon, according to the library’s website. The series is also available online; search for the series by its title.

A panel discussion is then planned for Wednesday, August 4, at 7 pm. Guests will be Dr Ramon Batson, chief of neurosurgery at Norwalk Hospital; Dr Stephen Maddox, Jr, pediatrician, Pediatric Associates of Connecticut; and Dr Iftikar Ali, Connecticut Regional Medical Director-AFC Urgent Care New England.

Organizers expect the panel discussion to have live and streamed participation options.

Registration for the panel discussion is open, and can be done by calling the library, 203-426-4533, or visiting chboothlibrary.org.

The discussion is co-sponsored by Kevin’s Community Center.

For additional information contact Library Director Douglas Lord at 203-426-1561 or dlord@chboothlibrary.org.

C.H. Booth Library is planning a three-day open film screening to be followed by a panel discussion in August, all concerning a very topical short documentary series.
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