In 2020 the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) partnered with StoryCorps to highlight health care professionals’ experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, and persistent inequities in America. Over the course of this partnership we were able to record with 17 individuals who shared their personal struggles and triumphs throughout their life working in the American healthcare system. The stories were recorded through StoryCorps for Hire, and premiered at the 2020 AAMC annual meeting from November 18 — 20. Listen to the incredible stories we recorded below:

John Vickers, MD, Adrienne Vickers, and Selwyn Vickers, MD

Dr. John Vickers, Jr. talks with his son, Dr. Selwyn Vickers, and granddaughter, Adrienne Vickers, about his journey to become one of the first Black people to graduate from the University of Alabama with a PhD, and the legacy he wants to leave for his family.

Aviad Haramati, PhD and Carrie Chen, PhD

Medical school educator Dr. Aviad “Adi” Haramati talks with his colleague, Dr. Huiju “Carrie” Chen, about his influences, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and in the midst of it all, what gives him hope.

LaShyra Nolen and Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD

Harvard medical student LaShyra “Lash” Nolen tells her former professor Dr. Elizabeth Gaufberg about how COVID-19 has changed the way she advocates for her patients and the role she’s playing during the pandemic as the first Black woman to serve as student council president.

Rachel Pearson, MD, and Benjamin Laussade

Dr. Rachel Pearson tells her husband, Ben Laussade, what it was like being pregnant and working in a hospital in San Antonio, Texas as COVID-19 spread throughout the United States. The couple welcomed their baby, Sam, at the height of the pandemic.

Sadé Frazier, DO, MS and David Kountz, MD, MBA, FACP

Colleagues Dr. David Kountz and Dr. Sadé Frazier discuss how the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have affected them both in and out of the workplace. The two also consider what needs to happen to increase the number of Black physicians in the field.

Kimberly Manning, MD, and Shanta Zimmer, MD

Dr. Kimberly Manning tells her friend and colleague, Dr. Shanta Zimmer, about her path to medicine, her experience at Tuskegee and Meharry Universities, and some of the lessons she has learned in her journey as a Black physician.

Cecil Webster, MD, and Dowin Boatright, MD

Physicians and close friends Dr. Cecil Webster and Dr. Dowin Boatright discuss racism in medical education and how difficult it can be to talk about the realities of racism with children.

Jayna Gardner-Gray, MD, and Geneva Tatem, MD

Dr. Jayna Gardner-Gray has a conversation with her colleague, Dr. Geneva Tatem, about the underrepresentation of Black doctors, advocating for the underserved communities, their experiences during the pandemic, and their hopes for the future.

At StoryCorps, we promote the power of storytelling to teach, celebrate, heal, and amplify your community or institution in partnerships tailored to your needs. If your organization is interested in partnering with StoryCorps to record and share the stories of your community, please visit our website to learn more, or reach out to [email protected].