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Sick & Tired: Shortage of Black Doctors Affects Patient Care

J. Tyler Franklin

Dr. Valerie Emuakhgbon stands with a group of residents huddled around a desk at University of Louisville Hospital. The small group of physicians is discussing a burn victim in the intensive care unit.

Emuakhgbon, the chief resident in the department of surgery, listens intently as the other doctors suggest next steps for treating the patient. She tells the lead doctor working with the group how she would treat the patient moving forward.

“I knew I always wanted to help people, and I probably decided freshman year of high school after doing some dissections, and I just kind of fell in love with it instantly," she said.

As a black physician in the United States, Emuakhagbon is a rarity.

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