In Part 1, we highlighted some changemakers of the past, who had an impact in history serving as inspirations to this very day. In Part 2, we are celebrating 'changemakers of the present and future' who are bringing fresh perspectives to what the world of medicine and surgery can offer. We are going to spotlight four esteemed varied individuals who have broken the mould of expectations within clinical medicine to pursue their passions.
Let’s begin with two incredible women, seeing as the national theme for Black History Month this year is “Saluting our Sisters”.
Dr Uyiosa Ogunbor
Dr Ogunbor is an award-winning, multifaceted medical doctor, TV personality and entrepreneur. Her excellence shone even from medical school where she founded an organisation Medsimple - working with schools to raise aspirations and mentor students pursuing a career in healthcare. She is actively involved in healthcare leadership and management, having shadowed the CEO of a £600M NHS trust and is also a member of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneurship programme. She has also used her medical experience to educate on health topics on Channel 4 health series. Some of her other interests lie in finance and property investment where she writes a successful newsletter to provide advice. You can find out more about her in this fantastic podcast - listen here
Dr Rochelle Pierre
Dr. Pierre is an anaesthetic trainee following the ACCS route. She is the Founder of the British Caribbean Doctors and Dentists Association, a supportive community for fellow Caribbean doctors, dentists, and students, aiming to support each other, be involved in outreach programmes, advocate for health inequalities, and host health promotion events. Recently, she received two Caribbean Global Awards for her excellence in community health service and best healthcare staff organisation. Additionally, she serves as a trustee for StreetDoctors, empowering young people to save lives. Dr. Pierre also has a passion for music and works as a DJ at various festivals and events.
Now onto the men!
Mr Carlon Fitzpatrick
Mr Fitzpatrick, an orthopaedic surgeon by background, is the co-founder and Business Development Director for Encode Health - a company that works by setting the standards for tracking and tracing of medical devices. Encode Health won international awards for their innovation in COVID-19. He is also the director of ‘Bee Sting Cosmetics’, a luxury natural skincare brand. He is also actively involved in the British Caribbean Doctors and Dentists Association.
Dr Ivan Beckley
Dr. Beckley is the CEO of Suvera, a healthcare company that enables virtual care for people with long-term conditions in the UK. His entrepreneurial background began during medical school, where he completed internships at companies, including Google's DeepMind, which sponsored and funded his MSc in Health Data Science. He was also part of the first group of UK medical students appointed as NHS Clinical Entrepreneurs. He is an esteemed public speaker on international stages and has also hosted a successful podcast: The Bias Diagnosis, where he explores health inequalities in modern medicine.
We hope you have found these four spotlights inspiring, as they have and continue to make a national and global impact. It is important, however, to mention that there is often a misconception that if an achievement isn't publicly shared on social media, it is not important. We are all changemakers, perhaps in ways we don't even realise, and it does not have to fit within the constraints of clinical and academic achievements to count.
A possible definition of being a 'changemaker' could be a person who strives to have an impact, no matter how big or small, in order to bring sustainable solutions, often in pursuit of their passions. What's your definition?"
Happy Black History Month! (though we should all be celebrating it all year round!).
Dr Ellen Nelson-Rowe,
Melanin Medics Blog Lead