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Ep16 (part 1) - A Black American Physician’s Journey: Leading the Efforts to Diversify the Face of Medicine, Dr. Tyree Winters

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For this episode of the Pursuit of Health podcast we now return back to the U.S. shores from our prior journey to South Africa. We were fortunate to sit down with a wonderful physician  mentor, leader and pioneer in his own right - Dr. Tyree Winters. Dr. Winters began his medical career with the foundation of a BA degree in Psychology at the University of Michigan. He then completed his medical school education at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and his pediatric training at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio. He now serves as the Residency Program and Medical Student Clerkship Director, General Pediatric Residency, Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Atlantic Health System, and most recently the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead Physician, Dept of Pediatrics, Goryeb Hospital. Amongst his  myriad activities he is also known for his energetic and engaging work as Dr. Tye the Hip Op Doc to tackle obesity and improve cardiovascular fitness for his followers.  On this Part 1 of a two part Episode 16 Dr. Winters takes a look back at the people who influenced his career choice to become a physician after growing up in Detroit in the 1980’s and 90’s.  Applying his Sociology and Psychology skills he paints a clear picture of the socioeconomic dynamics of Detroit at that time which created structural divisions along racial and economic lines. After briefly considering a healthcare career as a pharmacist, he soon returned back to Medicine with the support of an admissions officer who “could see the makings of a physician in me”.  As he proceeded through his medical education and early career, his experiences awoke a drive in him to improve equity and diversity in Medicine. Over the years he acknowledges that there has been an awakening in the mainstream of an awareness that the traditional criteria to become a physician has been inappropriately exclusive and restrictive. He explains why there is an urgent need in American society for there to be more inclusiveness in the process that ultimately creates a physician.  Dr. Winters finishes this part of our episode together by stressing the important role of empathy as a bridge to the experiences of others that ultimately leads to improved diversity and equity in all facets of our society, including the health profession.  This approach has become the foundation of his lifelong efforts to focus back on serving the healthcare needs of the underserved communities segregated by color, gender preference and poverty.  Join us next time for the final Part 2 of this episode as Dr. Winters shares his work in medical education, administration, patient care and a wonderful outreach program that spans the nation.  You can follow Dr. Eric Fethke on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok @drfethkemd. (This episode will also be available in video format on Youtube @drfethkemd.)