Carl Allamby is reportedly trading in his career as a car mechanic in order to become a doctor in hopes of addressing the national shortage of Black doctors.
The 47-year-old graduated from medical school earlier this year and began his residency at Cleveland Clinic Akron General hospital earlier this month.
According to Cleveland.com, Allamby grew up in East Cleveland with two brothers and three sisters. His dad was a part-time photographer who also sold cookware door-to-door and his mom was a stay-at-home parent.
At 16, Allamby got a job at an auto parts store near his home, which eventually propelled him to become a mechanic. “I’m telling you, this guy worked nonstop. He could fix the cars in his sleep,” said longtime customer Tawanah Key.
“He’s really smart, he can make a diagnosis on a car like nobody’s business,” another customer, Karen Roane, said.
Allamby says when he was in grade school he wanted to become a doctor but the idea was “beaten out” of him when he saw how few Black doctors there were.
“[There was] nobody to even to emulate. Just to say, ‘Hey, I know a guy who is a doctor who looks like me and if he can do it, I can do it,’” he said.
Allamby graduated from Cuyahoga Community College with a 3.98 GPA with a degree in business but didn’t know exactly what to do next. Then a chemistry teacher told him about a new program at Cleveland State University that offered intense undergraduate classes to prepare people for the Medical College Admissions Test and, if successful at taking it, earns students a spot at the Northeast Ohio Medical University.
After missing the enrollment cutoff for that year, Allamby took more Tri-C classes to prepare and subsequently aced them all. Allamby then completed the required two years at CSU and received his second undergraduate degree.
According to a 2018 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Black men, who have the lowest life expectancy rate of any American demographic, are more likely to share details with Black doctors and head their advice.
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports less than 6 percent of medical school graduates nationally identify as Black. The Association said the number of Black males in medical school has been around the same since 1978.
Kudos to Carl Allamby for being the change he wanted to see.