Black Youth with Stethoscopes Summit inspires future healthcare professionals

A group of about 100 students from around the Twin Cities made the most of a great opportunity on Saturday. Hennepin Healthcare welcomed Black and brown children to learn more about careers in healthcare, for free at its Black Youth with Stethoscopes Summit. 

"We want to make sure these young people see themselves in any of the spaces that are at Hennepin Healthcare, and we want them to know that we believe they can become what they see," Hennepin Healthcare Chief Health Equity Officer Dr. Nneka Sederstrom said.

Twelve-to-18-year-old students were given the experience and connections needed to jumpstart a career in medicine. They heard from a panel of physicians, nurses and dentists; before practicing CPR, blood draws, elements of surgery, childbirth and more.

"It was really helpful… I want to be a pediatrician. It’s either that or I’m thinking about becoming a physician assistant," ninth grader Nathanim Tekle said. "I don’t think I’ve ever been to any events like this before."

"I’m learning how to do surgery, and how to take out a blood draw," seventh grader Carter Alcenit added. "It means a lot to me, because there’s not a lot of black people that are doctors."

Dr. Sederstrom says the field desperately needs more diverse physicians, to match the diversity seen in its patients.

"When you walk in, and you see someone that looks like you, there is a familiarity, there’s a sense of trust and well-being, and what we’ve seen is patients tend to open up better, and tend to be more compliant with what the physicians are saying to them, and then they have better outcomes as a result," Dr. Sederstrom explained.