DC's Sons -- The Future Doctors
If the young men in white coats don't look old enough to be practicing medicine, it's because they're not. They are part of Young Doctors DC, a mentoring and pipeline program to help guide high school boys from Southeast DC toward college and health care careers. After a year of training, including a summer session at Howard University, the "young doctors" help conduct mobile health clinics in their neighborhoods. "Without intense intervention, many young men would find it very difficult just to complete high school," said Adrian Thompson, a child and adolescent therapist who works with YDDC. Despite challenges, YDDC is about to graduate its first class of three young men, and all have been accepted to college.
Adrian Thompson, a psychologist who works with the program, recalled a conversation with one of the graduating seniors: "(He) expresses fear and apprehension about moving out and going to college. He often brings concerns of money and confidence, and these things really worry him. However, (he) remains determined that he is going to be a cardiologist. At the most recent event at AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges), he specifically engaged several medical students and asked about course load, difficulty of medical school, and how they pay for their schooling. He leads with what he wants do to, and is trying at every opportunity to create a roadmap to reach his goal."