Grambling Graduate Dreams of Eliminating Disparities in Healthcare for African Americans

 

DanielN_sum15Daniel Nwachokor has dreamed of becoming a physician his entire life. His parents remember him being an inquisitive child that was fascinated with science and health. He was routinely the first student to submit a project at the school science fair.

As Nwachokor prepared to enter high school, his passion for medicine grew, and he was ultimately selected to attend the L.V. Hightower High School Medical Science Academy in Missouri City, Texas. This accelerated program prepares students who want to enter the medical field with specialized classes and internships in the healthcare industry.

When Nwachokor entered Grambling State University in 2005, he immediately had an advisor meeting with his future mentors, Danny Hubbard, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Felix Ifeanyi, head of the Department of Biological Sciences, who asked him what he wanted to do with his life.

“I said I want to be a physician. They said, with hard work and dedication, we can help you get there,” Nwachokor said. “I knew I wanted a university that had a great premedical curriculum and a supportive faculty that could ultimately help me capture my lifelong career goals.”

All of this made Nwachokor’s transition to GSU successful. He was involved in several extracurricular activities while at GSU. Most notably he was president of the Grambling chapter of the Minority Association of Premedical Students and a summer scholar at the Meharry Medical College Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Medicine program in Nashville, Tennessee.

After he graduated from Grambling with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in 2009, Nwachokor entered the University of Kansas School of Medicine. In May 2015, he graduated with a dual degree of medical doctor (M.D.) and master of public health.

While in medical school, Nwachokor conducted research on healthcare disparities in the African American community. He and other researchers analyzed how ethnicity, education and socioeconomic factors influence healthcare perceptions. His career interests center around preventative medicine and minority health.

For his master’s capstone project, he designed and created a community health initiative to increase the number of African Americans who get screened for colorectal cancer. His work is now being used at many African American churches in the Kansas City area.

Nwachokor has recently moved to Houston, Texas, to begin a three-year family medicine residency at the Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. After Nwachokor completes his residency in 2018, he plans to practice full-spectrum family medicine and eventually open his own group practice. He also plans to continue researching healthcare disparities with an ultimate goal of “improving healthcare outcomes for minorities.”