Black Enterprise Unveils America’s Leading Doctors

The May issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE (BE) unveils its 2008 report on the best and brightest in medicine. In “America’s Leading Doctors,” BE names 140 top-notch physicians responsible for saving millions of lives through the revolutionary treatment of diseases, from cancer and diabetes to heart attacks and HIV/AIDS. Many of these doctors have been responsible for major medical breakthroughs and have participated in the creation of drugs that have vastly improved the quality of life for patients.

BE developed its May cover package at a time when African Americans continue to contend with an ever-widening gap in the quality of available healthcare. Some of the factors that contribute to this escalating crisis include lack of access to services and the alarmingly high cost of adequate care. Meanwhile, the proportion of the nation’s black doctors has remained stagnant. African Americans make up 13.4% of the total U.S. population but only 5.6% of all U.S. physicians and surgeons — 44,900 out of 888,000. Even fewer black doctors are in positions of power and leadership. Just under a dozen serve as chairs of departments at the nation’s medical schools.

“A consistent objective of BLACK ENTERPRISE is to communicate that without investing in the quality of our health and that of our families and communities, it is all but impossible to create sustainable, multigenerational wealth,” says Founder and Publisher Earl G. Graves Sr. “The life of my father was cut short at the age of 46 by a heart condition that was likely both preventable and treatable. The exceptional black physicians we highlight uniquely understand the medical issues that confront African Americans. Their expertise makes them an essential part of the solution to the healthcare crisis facing black Americans and our entire nation.”

The cover features New York University School of Medicine Cardiologist Jennifer H. Mieres, Cedars-Sinai Neurosurgery Chair Keith L. Black, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center Pediatrician Kevin B. Johnson. What sets this year’s list apart from our previous lists, published in 1998 and 2001, is a stronger weighting of innovators involved in medical breakthroughs among specialties. The editors spent more than six months engaged in research, consulting organizations such as the National Medical Association, American Medical Association, Association of Black Cardiologists, American Cancer Society, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, American Diabetes Association, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. BE also contacted top-ranked physicians as well as the nation’s leading medical schools, including Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Mayo Medical School.

By BLACK ENTERPRISE

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