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Surgeon looks to inspire black youth

with 4 comments


If Dr. Roderick Claybrooks had his way, academic superstars would be as popular as “American Idol” and as publicized as the Super Bowl.

It pains him that many youths “especially African-American boys and girls” see entertainment or athletics as their only ticket to success.

“You have a much better chance of becoming a surgeon than of becoming the next Kobe Bryant,” Claybrooks, a spine surgeon, tells them.

To which he often gets a puzzled look. But Claybrooks, 36, doesn’t back down.

He backs it up with numbers.

He says there are about 400 men playing in the NBA, but hundreds of thousands of doctors. There are 921,904 physicians, including 161,370 surgeons, in the United States, according to the American Medical Association.

“An education, a good education, is the surest ticket out of the ghetto,” Claybrooks says emphatically.

He knows because, although he didn’t grow up poor, education opened doors to opportunities he would have had no other way.

He’s so convinced of it that he wrote “The Black Student’s Guide to Success” and published it himself late last year.

Claybrooks says he was driven to write the book because it bothered him that so many kids he talked to had limited aspirations and many people he treated had promise but were doing nothing to develop their potential.

National radio personality Steve Harvey was so impressed with Claybrooks and his message, “he interviewed him on his nationally syndicated show” that he invited him to be among a group of people from a variety of professions to speak to 100 students at the Disney Dreamers Academy in Florida last month.

Read the entire article at Contra Costa Times


4 Responses

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  1. “You have a much better chance of becoming a surgeon than of becoming the next Kobe Bryant,” Claybrooks, a spine surgeon, tells them.”

    So, so true.


    February 27, 2008 at 10:40 am

  2. This man is AWESOME! I was watching an interview with him on a local Detroit channel and was completely blown away. The interview was more than half-way over when I turned it on but the little bit I did see impressed me. His message is so straight forward. I believe this is what our kids need. I was so impressed with him that I went online and ordered his book before the interview was over. I received it yesterday and immediately started reading it. Again I say,,,,,, THIS MAN IS AWESOME! If u don’t have the book,, GET IT!


    January 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm

  3. I saw the interview on the public educational station.
    I have two sons and plan to give this book to them on their next birthdays. It is important that more sucessful africian american men who are not entertainers or are sports idols have greater exposure in black communities. Our children need more next door neighbors to look up to. Each adult should be the neighbor who inspires a youth to become more than they had dreamed. I’m doing my part, how about others?


    September 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

  4. I am exposed to Dr Claybooks most often by reputation by I can tell after working with him that his is deserving as a member of the medical and detroit communities respect.
    I am looking forward to reading his book.


    May 4, 2010 at 9:27 am

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