Rickards grad Williams making big impression at Morehouse School of Medicine
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Taylor Williams had no clue when she decided at an early age to become a medical doctor that she’d be helping to improve the number of Blacks pursuing a career in medicine.
A student at Morehouse College of Medicine, she is already making the kind of impression that indicates she would have a profound impact in the medical field, according to one of her professors. She may even go as far as becoming one who helps to create health policies, said Dr. Marvin Crawford, who specializes in internal medicine and is Director of internal medicine clerkship at Morehouse.
“She is going to make an excellent, superb doctor in our industry,” Crawford said of Williams, who presented results of one of her research at a national conference for clinical oncology. “She is ideal for our institution.”
Crawford went on to say that Williams, who plans to practice plastic surgery after graduating next May and completing her residency, could help to reduce a shortage of Blacks in the medical profession. Research has shown that only six percent of practicing physicians are Black.
Blacks make up only one percent of the 1,500 the students who were accepted in 2016 from about 53,000 who applied for medical school.
“I think she would help to close the gap and she would do it well,” Crawford said. “She would play a wonderful role in helping to close the gap by providing the care as a direct caregiver who understands people where they are and give them help.”
Williams isn’t just impressing her professors. She was recently accepted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
Reaction to the honor was swift, especially from members of her church, Bethel Missionary Baptist.
“We are very proud of Taylor,” said Rev. R. B. Holmes, pastor at Bethel and publisher of the Capital Outlook. “She has always been an excellent student, a person of high morals, caring and compassionate.
“We are elated that she began her early educational journey at Bethel Christian Academy. Her parents are committed and always were there for all of their children social, educational and spiritual activities. Taylor is going to be a phenomenal physician.”
The society’s membership is made up of people in the medical field who conduct themselves with honesty, leadership, morality, virtue, altruism.
Additionally, members are expected to dedicate themselves to serving others.
That also is part of Morehouse’s mission statement and Williams said she’s committed to do just that. Especially in communities faced with health inequities.
“Studies have proven that patients want to see doctors who are like them; people who are going to relate to them and understand their condition more to treat them,” Williams said. “They open up to them. I think it’s very important that we continue to increase the diversity in the physician workforce because of the (Black) population of the United States is not 6 percent.”
Elaborating on his belief that Williams could be a policy maker in health, Crawford said he came to that conclusion because of her commitment to learning all she can about the profession.
“I think she would do it well,” he said. “She would understand that she is not just there to have a job, but to carry out a mission and fulfill a wonderful destiny. That’s what Taylor brings to the table.”
Williams was a second-grader when she began to show interest in becoming a physician, said her mother, Kim Williams. She took an unwavering approach to learning all she could at an early stage, her mother said.
Her interest in science became more intense when she attended Rickards High School, where she participated in the International Baccalaureate program. At the same time, she developed an interest in music and became proficient at playing the trumpet, violin and viola.
She played in Richards’ marching band. She joined the Marching Chiefs when she attended FSU for her first four years of medical studies in 2012.
Williams also played with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the music assembly at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
At no time, though, did she consider music as a better career choice, Williams said.
“I never really saw myself as a professional musician,” said Williams, 23. “I thought the odds of making it as a professional musician was a lot more risky career choice. I didn’t feel that passion for it; the kind of passion that you would need to devote all of your energy and anything toward having a successful career as a musician.”
Medicine was too intriguing, she said.
“There are so many mysteries that still remain in medicine; some of these things about the human body we still don’t understand,” she said. “We have a good idea of learning these things. It’s been awakening and eye-opening that the body is able to carry out these processes on its own and can run from our birth until death several years later; physically uninterrupted without any type of human intervention, but in some way we’ve found discoveries to enhance life.”