The long-anticipated documentary Black Men In White Coats is taking the nation by storm in a grassroots fashion! The brainchild of Dr. Dale Okorodudu, a Dallas-based Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician, the film tackles the issues pertaining to why Black men aren’t becoming medical doctors and what that means for society. It features leaders in the field while also bringing intellectual star power with individuals such as actor Hill Harper, former Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and NBA champion Shane Battier. In the first week since official release, this documentary has received over 200 five-star reviews; an amazing feat for an independent film!
“We’re excited, but not surprised it’s catching such a buzz. We’ve basically been planning this film for the past eight years,” said Okorodudu. “It’s sparking a huge conversation that is contentious for many people. When you’re talking about race, opportunity, and health, that’s a lot of fireworks, that’s a lot of opinions, that’s and a lot of emotions. It’s proving to be a thought-provoking film that everyone has an opinion about; whether you agree with us or not.”
To date, Okorodudu’s focus has been mentoring under-resourced youth to pursue careers in the medical field, but he knew that wouldn’t be enough and that a larger community effort was needed. That was the impetus for the film. “We didn’t hold back,” said Micah Autry, director of the film. “Our goal was to make a film that wouldn’t just be an entertaining feel-good movie, but instead one that calls people to make real change. That’s why this film is so important and why it’s making so much noise in the medical community. We specifically designed it to have a real impact.”
The importance of this film cannot be understated and many of the nation’s top hospitals and medical schools have or will be hosting virtual screenings during the months of February and March. They recognize the importance of this message, not only for the Black community but for Americans in general. As Dr. Marc Nivet, a leading expert on the topic, states, “We’re treating this as if it’s a problem, instead of realizing that we have a crisis on our hands.”