Through their motto – lifting as we climb – the members of BFD lift each other up to be well-represented in the medical field and increase the number of Black female physicians.
“I wanted Black Female Doctors to be a resource for networking, mentoring, education, events, and service. Most of all, I wanted to encourage, guide, and support Black women who are pursuing careers in medicine,” said Tahara Jordan, Class of ’25 and the organization’s founder. BFD’s current leaders, Fahima Mohamud and Shandera Ferguson, both Class of ’26, are ready to continue Jordan’s inspirations for the next generation of RUSM students.
“What we try to embody as an organization is a safe space for students who look like us,” said Mohamud, BFD’s president in 2023. “We see each other and the world around us through similar lenses, and it creates a safe community for us to continue carrying our mission forward.”
The purpose of Mohamud and her peers in leadership positions on BFD’s executive board is to establish connections and collaborate with other Black students, educate the Ross Med community, and spread awareness of the impact of Black women in medicine. In less than two years as a Ross Med student organization, BFD has worked to create a network of first semester students through alumni to support each other in the collective aspiration each share to become a physician.
“BFD goes beyond our group in Barbados,” said Ferguson, BFD’s vice president. “We carry this into our clinical years, residency, practice, and beyond. At every stage of this journey, there is someone before you that can give advice, talk about their journey, and be a leader for others.”
Outside Ross Med, BFD has also taken up several causes to support youth programs and community initiatives in Barbados.
One such project that Mohamud is most proud of involves a recent collaboration with IncludeU Sports Academy, which assists children with adaptive needs by helping them fine-tune their motor skills through various sports activities. BFD and IncludeU Sports Academy hosted an event to give academy students a day filled with fun activities, food, and music, outside of their usual setting. “Seeing the smiles and happiness on those kids’ faces by offering a day dedicated to them, and how much their parents appreciated that, made the experience invaluable.”
Connecting with youth programs in Barbados is an embodiment of mentorship for future generations that BFD champions. With this in mind, BFD established Future White Coats, an opportunity for BFD leaders to visit local schools to share their experiences as a medical student and lead science projects with the kids. More than that, though, is the opportunity to represent a typically underrepresented field for Black women.
“When I was younger, I never had people come to my school and show me, hey, you can do it,” Ferguson recalled. “I'm here. There are Black people in the healthcare field, and BFD gives me another outlet to inspire more Black and minority children to be interested in healthcare and not be afraid of it because of where you come from or what you look like.”
Students may learn how to get involved with Black Female Doctors via [social media] or by contacting the organization at [general email inbox].
Joining a campus organization at Ross Med allows you to meet other students who have similar interests and goals. Learn more about Ross Med’s clubs and organizations here