Welcome to Black Doctors of South Florida, created to be a safe space for Black people to seek out medical professionals and doctors with whom they can relate to and feel comfortable. I am Adrienne Hibbert, founder and creator of BlackDoctorsSFL.com. I found it paramount to create this space for Black people after three things happened to me.
First, I went to my O.B. GYN, an incredible Black doctor, who owns a woman’s center along with her business partner, a Russian-native doctor. I noticed that almost all of the patients of her business partner were majority Russian speaking. Well, she speaks Russian and she can put that under her bio as being able to speak another language. After realizing this, it made me wonder why don’t provider lists indicate which ones are Black. Some patients may want to be seen by a Black doctor just like Russian speaking patients want to be seen by a Russian doctor. Well, providers don't.
Second, one day in 2017, I sat down with my 60-year-old father and asked him if his primary care physician was Black. He replied that he wasn't. I was surprised. I thought he would have been adamant about having a Black doctor considering what my dad has gone through in his 60 years of life. The Civil Rights Movement started around the same time of his birth. He replied that’s a good question. I probed him some more and asked if he did not have a Black doctor because he wasn’t interested in one or could not find one. He said he couldn’t find one. My father also said his current doctor didn’t listen to him when telling him certain things about his pain level or brushed off certain symptoms of ailments as normal. I was concerned about this.
Lastly, I asked a guy I was dating if he had a PCP (Primary Care Physician). He told me no. I asked him when was the last time he went to see a doctor. He replied, “It has to be at least seven years.” This was shocking because "what is he thinking?" I asked him if he cared about his health. He said he does but only felt the need to go if something started to bother him. I found it to be common for Black men to not go to the doctor after high school. I have been trying to figure out if it’s because they are afraid, just don't have time, don't go until something bad happens, or they just don’t make it a priority?
So, I decided I needed to start something where Black men and women can seek out professionals who look like them so that they can feel less afraid and more comfortable in actively seeking preventative care and make their health a PRIORITY. Relatability is important. Representation is equally as important. I want Black men to know there is a safe space to seek a health professional that may have dealt with some of the same issues and fears they may be encountering. Black doctors DO EXIST. They are out there.
For my sons. And for the black sons, fathers, uncles, and brothers looking to be proactive about their health, with them in mind, I created Black Doctors of South Florida. I will be expanding and continuing my journey to creating safe spaces all over the internet for the "US".
I want Black people to understand that preserving Black lives starts with self. We have the power to do better and we can if we help each other in the process. Don’t be afraid or feel uncomfortable about being who you are and wanting that commonality in a healthcare provider. Your life depends on it.