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Dr. Russell Ledet, 34, is a prime example of not only black excellence but black resilience. The Lake Charles, Louisiana native went from working security at Baton Rouge General Medical Center to being on the hospital’s frontlines as a medical student during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russell Ledt

Source: Russell Ledt / GMA

After graduating high school, Ledet served in the Navy for two years before moving back to Louisiana and enrolling at Southern University. While in school he worked security at the hospital and often asked doctors if they could mentor him while he took notes and studied organic chemistry.

Other physicians were rightfully too busy providing patient care but Dr. Patrick Greiffenstein, the chief surgery resident, took Ledet under his wing. Dr. Greiffenstein considers Dr. Ledet a star-pupil and he’s proud to see how far he’s come.

Dr. Ledet went on to receive his Ph.D. in molecular oncology and tumor immunology from New York University and now he’s currently working on his MD and MBA through a dual program at Tulane University, graduating in May 2022. He’s also a proud husband and father. The importance of Dr. Ledet centering himself as a role model isn’t lost on him, especially considering that he has two daughters who can turn on the news and see black police brutality victims.

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🤷🏿‍♂️Life's kinda messy some time. And that is OK.👍🏿  It's been a rather long week. Up at 4:00 to 4:30AM every morning to make rounds on the abdominal transplant unit at @tulanemed. Then going to study in the evenings after getting off. That means I'm not there when they wake and I MIGHT make it home in time to put them to bed.   ✨I remember @bishopjakes once telling a story of how he was once asked how did he balance it all. Being a father, a businessman, pastor, husband, grandfather, leader, etc. His answer was (and I paraphrase) "I just don't fail at the same thing everyday. If I failed at being a husband today, I won't fail at that tomorrow."✨  What is the lesson? 👀  🚨You won't have a static balance. It's a sliding balance. Some weeks and months are busier than others. So you can't really make up for it, but what you can do is make sure the quality time you do have is well spent. I took Moja and Mbili for ice cream today and told them get what you want and be as messy as need be to enjoy it. I just wanted to be in their presence and be uninterrupted for just a few hours. I wanted them to find out what I was doing. I participated in a kidney transplant surgery this week and the patient is doing well. The kidney is responding and I'll visit with the patient this weekend. I'll also bring my oldest daughter to piano tomorrow morning because I studied hard all week and I have time to now. It's a work in progress, but I love this roller coaster and wouldn't have it any other way. ❤️  #blackfamily #blacklove #blackexcellence #blackgirlmagic #melanin #blackunity #blackhistory #blackfathers #blackculture #blackpower #love #blackcommunity #blackisbeautiful #blacklivesmatter #blackfamilies #blackpeople #blackmen #blackwoman #blackbusiness #family #buyblack #blackwomen #black #blackandproud #blackpride #melaninpoppin #africa #blackempowerment #blackfamilygoals

A post shared by Russell Joseph Ledet, Ph.D.✊🏿 (@theguywithyes) on

With that in mind, he focuses on black positivity like 15 White Coats, a group of Black medical students from Tulane University who give out scholarships to fellow medical students.

CNN reports that the group formed in 2019 on the heels of a visit to Whitney Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana, and posed for a viral photo in front of the slave quarters. Dr. Ledet is the President and manager of the organization.

“Our big plans are to start a high school in New Orleans,” he said. “And then we want to find a big donor to pay for an entire incoming class of medical students around the country that are from marginalized communities.”


The good doc recently made a television appearance where he was lauded for his achievements and surprised by one of his favorite artists, Gregory Porter. You can watch that below.

Congrats Dr. Ledet! What do YOU think about this inspiring story?



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