Sept. 16, 2021 — Henry Young II, M.D., was first drawn to the field of medicine after watching his father serve his small community of Cordele, Georgia, as a family physician. He attended Georgia Southern University, where he majored in biology, and went on to attend the Medical College of Georgia. He completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Florida, where he served as chief resident in his final year.
As a Black male in medicine, Young knows firsthand the impact of having role models to look up to and the importance of improving diversity and inclusion in medical school. His goal is to understand why the percentage of Black men in medicine has decreased and learn how medical professionals can help make a difference to improve the rate.
“There are actually fewer Black men in medical school now than in the ’70s, which is terrible,” Young said. “We want students to know they belong, and we need them here.”
As a health professional active in UF Health’s Keys 2 Success, Young mentors pre-professional students from underrepresented backgrounds and students from rural areas with limited access to health care, helping them take their first steps toward a career in medicine.
The program launched in March and is funded by a grant through the UF Racial Justice Research Fund, which was initiated last year by UF President Kent Fuchs and the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer to support research and scholarship that will inform understanding of the Black experience, racial justice and diversity, equity and inclusion on campus and beyond.