Dr. Dale Okorodudu, MD, President and Founder of DiverseMedicine Inc. and the Black Men in White Coats Video Series, is a Pulmonary & Critical Care Physician practicing in Dallas, Texas. He was raised in League City, Texas just outside of Houston then moved to Columbia, Missouri where he earned both his Undergraduate and Medical Degrees from the University of Missouri. Following his stint in the Midwest, he completed his Internal Medicine Residency training at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, then moved to Dallas, Texas where he completed his Pulmonary & Critical Care training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Dr. Dale has known since the age of seven that he would one day become a medical doctor. While this is true, interestingly, he did not know he wanted to be a doctor until much later after he began college. Throughout his life, he has had several outstanding mentors and over the years has actively studied from them what it takes to be not just a good mentor, but a great one! Dr. Dale has mentored across the gamut from high risk youth to physicians in training. When asked what the most important quality for a mentor to have is, Dr. Dale answers, “There are two qualities needed; the ability to listen and the ability to be resourceful. Often times, if you let someone speak long enough, eventually, he or she will answer the question without you ever saying a word. If they don’t, then it’s your turn to speak. Regarding being resourceful, a lot of people think mentoring is all about being knowledgeable. That’s a fallacy. I’d rather have someone on my team who knows how to find the people or things necessary to get a job done, rather than someone who tries to know it all and do it solo.”
In 2011, with a team of superb physicians, Dr. Dale founded DiverseMedicine with the belief that an abundant number of highly qualified underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged premedical students were having their medical career dreams crushed simply because there was nobody present to show them how to do it. While there are numerous effective mentoring organizations across the nation, DiverseMedicine set out to develop an innovative social network mentoring model. “The younger generations do not communicate the same way we did prior to social networking. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the originator of it all, Black Planet; these are what they know now. If we want to reach them, we need to communicate like they do. Not to mention, mentoring via this model is much more efficient than traditional models. If we are serious about increasing diversity in the field of medicine, during the current Facebook era, this is how to do it.”
Dr. Dale is grateful to his parents for instilling a sense of personal responsibility within him. He specifically thanks his mother for teaching him patience and encouraging curiosity to solve problems. He identifies his dad as the greatest mentor in his life. Dr. Dale also has three older siblings, all of whom have played integral roles in his successes to date. He describes his wife as “The one who my soul loves, a Proverbs 31/Titus 2 woman” and together they are raising two wonderful children. When asked why he is so passionate about mentoring Dr. Dale responds, “I firmly believe that to whom much is given, much shall be required of. I’ve been given much, so it’s very easy for me to know what I am called to do. Give it back!”