A former security guard came back to the hospital where he used to work, but this time as a medical student fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Russell Ledet was employed at Baton Rouge General Medical Center for five years, studying medicine on note cards and asking doctors if he could shadow them while he worked as a security, the Black doctor told Good Morning America.
While most of the physicians he reached out to told him their hectic schedules wouldn't permit it, Dr. Leder was eventually taken under the wing of Dr. Patrick Greiffenstein, the chief surgery resident.
“This is one of those reflective points when you’re trying to understand how far you’ve come and how far you got to go,” Ledet said.
Ledet is a U.S. Navy veteran who has a Ph.D. in molecular oncology from New York University and is currently enrolled in the M.B.A. program and medical school at Tulane University.
One of the joys of his work is serving the community members in Louisiana, not so far from his "humble beginnings" growing up in Lake Charles.
The doctor now helps patients at the hospital he used to work for and wants to inspire young students of color to enter the medical field.
At medical school, Ledet organized a photoshoot among black students from Tulane’s Student National Medical Association wearing white coats in front of Whitney Plantation, a former slave plantation.
“The idea of the photo was to illustrate our presence essentially, and the history behind where we are today,” Ledet said.
He says those photos are now being used as “cultural imagery.”