Black History Month serves as a powerful opportunity to showcase our Black providers and acknowledge the historical inequities and biases that have long existed in the medical profession. We are engaged in a continuous process of learning from these providers, and are committed to building a health care workforce that reflects the diverse communities that we serve.
This week, we are proud to highlight Dr. Lewis W. Marshall Jr., the Chief Medical Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. A highly-accomplished physician, Dr. Marshall holds MS, MBA, MD, and JD degrees. He is also a highly decorated leader, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Healthcare Executives, and American Academy of Disaster Medicine. Dr. Marshall is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.
We sat down with Dr. Marshall to learn more about his experience as a Black medical provider. Here’s what he had to say:
PAGNY: Why is Black representation in medical professionals important?
Dr. Marshall: In general, we need a diverse health care workforce. Specifically, we need Black physicians in our communities. Research shows that patient-provider concordance improves the use of health care and less delay in seeking care. This is very important in our underserved communities of color.
PAGNY: Which Black historical figures inspire you and your work the most?
Dr. Marshall: Dr. Vivian Pinn was the first black woman to serve as director of the National Institute of Health, Office of Research on Women’s Health. She was also my pathology professor at Howard University School of Medicine. She supported and encouraged all the students to excel.
PAGNY: What advice would you give to the next generation of Black medical providers?
Dr. Marshall: There are so many options in medicine. You can specialize in many different areas, you can teach, or you can do research. You can work in many different settings, so find one you like and work at it. If it turns out you don’t love it, you can move to a different area of medicine. There are many opportunities to volunteer to help communities all over the world. So, enjoy!
Dr. Marshall’s advocacy for the health and well-being of historically underserved communities of color is integral to PAGNY’s vision. As an Assistant Professor, Dr. Marshall embodies his inspirational professor Dr. Pinn and encourages his own students to pursue medical excellence. Dr. Marshall exemplifies what it means to be a PAGNY provider, and we are grateful for his expertise and commitment to providing compassionate care.