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DELOREAN GRIFFIN For DeLorean Griffin, a 2002 graduate, the story of his career in his hometown of Detroit is a tale of two cities. After earning a bachelor’s in biology from Florida A&M University and a Doctor of Medicine from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2007, he spent five years as a general surgery resident at Detroit Medical Center in the heart of the city. The Detroit of his residency was gritty, violent and critically ill. “Detroit is poor and there’s a lot of distrust. During my surgery residency, I was dealing with the sickest of the sick,” he said. “I saw conditions like late-stage cancer, and there was a high level of violence.” After five years, Griffin turned his attention to plastic surgery. However, he did not leave behind his efforts to help those in need. He said his general surgery residency made him a more confident plastic surgeon. Second, given the dearth of Black physicians in this nation, he is a rare role model – whether he’s irrigating a deep wound or nipping and tucking. “General surgery was a steppingstone. It helped me become a better plastic surgeon,” he said. For the past two years, he has served as the only plastic and reconstructive surgeon on the staff of St. Mary Mercy Hospital Livonia. As a young doctor, he is already building a legacy. He is a member of the executive board of the Detroit Medical Society and recent honoree on the Michigan Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” list. While the new Detroit of Griffin’s medical career is suburban, bucolic and a world away from the inner city, he uses his story as an opportunity to encourage youth to live their dreams and break through barriers. Today, Griffin says, he is the only Black male plastic surgeon in Central Detroit. He knows that Black plastic surgeons make up a very small fraction of the 4 percent of Black doctors in the nation. He’s doing his part to ensure that more faces like his are added to the count. “I do a lot of mentoring,” he said. “I have students shadow me. I work with organizations like Jack & Jill and the Boy Scouts of America’s Explore Program. And I occasionally connect with FAMU students via social media to offer advice or answer questions. I tell them not to be deterred by any roadblocks or trip-ups. Be persistent. I didn’t get the score I wanted on the MCAT the first time I took it, but I was persistent.”

LAKRYSTAL WARREN When LaKrystal Warren, also a 2002 grad, was in high school, one of her best friends got pregnant. Warren accompanied her friend to all of her doctor’s visits – and thus her interest in medicine was born. She credits FAMU for the excellent preparation for her career in medicine. In fact, she said, when she entered medical school, “there was nothing I hadn’t seen before.” Warren earned her Doctor of Medicine from Wake Forest University. At Wake Forest, of the 115 total students in her class, there were seven Black females and three Black males. But their small number turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “We turned out to be a close-knit group, so in a way it was better,” she said. Today, Warren is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist. Since 2011, she has been in private practice with two female doctors she met during her residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The area the practice serves is affluent and diverse. Yet, Warren said she still detects evidence of the disparity in access to health care for Black women – even when finances are not at issue. “Some Black patients actively seek me out as the practice’s only Black female physician. As a Black OB-GYN, I have special insight into our culture,” she said. As a trio of female doctors, Warren and her partners are making a positive impact. “We have a good relationship in the community,” she said. “People like to see us in the community because we’re women. We give their children and daughters someone whom they can look up to. They [tell their children] to ‘stay in school and you, too, can be a doctor someday.’” 4 A&M MAGAZINE // SUMMER 2017 // 35

Profile for FAMU Communications

Summer 2017 A&M Magazine  

Welcome to the summer edition of the award-winning A&M Magazine. This issue highlights alumni, students, faculty, staff, programs and partne...

Summer 2017 A&M Magazine  

Welcome to the summer edition of the award-winning A&M Magazine. This issue highlights alumni, students, faculty, staff, programs and partne...