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The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Blog Medicine and the Pursuit of Leadership

Doctor looking to the future.

March 12, 2024
By Talmadge Gaither, Roland Leyson, Basira Iginla and Amged Eidelsafy

As student doctors, we have an innate desire to create impactful change for our patients and the larger community, but it may be difficult to pursue a larger change in the community due to a variety of factors, including time, one's personal background or ethnicity. Drexel’s Aspiring Physician Executives (APEx) chapter is an organization that is in its second year at the university and has a mission to increase the number of diverse individuals in leadership within medically related spaces. Our chapter’s goal this past year was to increase the exposure of Drexel medical students to physicians in various roles of leadership both within and beyond the hospital setting. Typically, we achieve this through various speaker events on Zoom, but we also partner with the overarching organization to have Drexel MD students network with students from other medical schools in the area.

We have leveraged the diversity of the College of Medicine’s student organizations, collaborating with the Urology Interest Group and the Dermatology Interest Group to fulfill the need to expose students to a variety of specialties. Just as early exposure to different medical specialties is important, it is important to be exposed to different leadership roles to light the fire of institutional change. Our speakers work as active, licensed physicians and also hold CEO and founder positions in companies or act as medical leaders at their institutions.

This organization has not only created a space for student members to think more broadly about their medical career but has also affected our leadership team as well. Below are brief quotes relating to how APEx has impacted some of our leadership team.

“Doctors are clinicians at their core, but we try to break the mindset that this is the only thing they can be. Any aspiring physician can be a leader in different ways.” – Roland Leyson, MS2

“Early exposure is essential for many aspects of medicine, including leadership. Without this organization, I would have a different outlook about what post-graduation could look like as a physician.” – Talmadge Gaither, MS2

“To see change, you have to create change as a leader in medicine. Being an executive-physician is actively making impactful innovative changes and inspiring other leaders.” – Basira Iginla, MS1

“Embracing the principles of business in medicine cultivates a new caliber of physicians. By learning the intricacies of business as a medical student I’m expanding my horizons, fundamentally transforming my perspective to see beyond the patient room to the broader healthcare ecosystem, where a doctor can navigate healthcare not only as practitioners but as proactive changemakers in the industry." – Amged Eidelsafy MS2

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