Dr. Samaria Brown Discusses the Power of an HBCU Education

Source: (rollingout.com) – By Rashad Milligan – Dr. Samaria Brown is a certified primary care pediatrician. She’s graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana and Harvard Medical School. Brown believes every child and family should receive high-quality and equitable care.

Recently, Brown discussed her career with rolling out.

When did you decide you wanted to go to medical school?

[It] was probably around middle school when I decided that I knew I wanted to be a doctor and a pediatrician, specifically. My father sat next to a Xavier alum on a flight when I was in high school, [I was] probably a freshman and I was already looking at the top medical schools in the country and not at colleges yet. He got me on their mailing list, they recruited me and it was an easy choice for me. I always wanted to go to an HBCU and at the time they were number one in placing African Americans into medical school and so I got a phenomenal education there and went on to the medical school of my choice.

Who is one professor at Xavier who helped prepare you for medical school at Harvard?

Definitely one of the people who was really impactful for me was Dean [Nedra] Alcorn. She always looked out for you, made sure that everything was OK. She checked in with you, she knew that I was living miles and miles away from home coming from Massachusetts. So, she always checked in with you, made sure that you are going to be successful and applauded you.

How did her support help you feel more at ease at Xavier?

I grew up in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and I was always one of the only ones. I was told I was an exception. Coming to an HBCU and seeing with your own eyes, even though you already know it, that you’re not an exception, that is phenomenal. [There is] power in our Black community. It was so comfortable to be in a class and not feel like you have to think about your race. I think, especially coming from an educational background being one of the only ones — to being one of everyone. I just can’t even tell you how much confidence that gives you and how much comfort [it gives]. For me, it was a phenomenal experience. I highly recommend everyone go to an HBCU because you just cannot get that experience anywhere else.

What has the journey of COVID with other Black doctors been like for you?

We know as Black doctors we do have a responsibility to make sure that we’re advocating for our community. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed a family in the hallway, and [they’ll] say, “Are you a doctor here? How can I get in with you?” Because they look like me, and they want their kids to see a doctor who looks like me.

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