A Voice of Reason and Hope on Both Racial Disparity and Medicine
Dr. Randall Whitaker Maxey is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio with over 48 years of experience as a top Nephrologist. In this time, Dr. Maxey has also been a dedicated civil rights activist and lawyer. Dr. Maxey goes on to explain where his dedication to further his education stems from his current views on today’s health issues among minorities, as well as his thoughts on the current Covid pandemic.
Dr. Maxey was raised in a Mid-west family setting with his mother, father, and his three siblings. His mother was a schoolteacher, his father a local mortician. Dr. Maxey’s childhood was filled with fond memories consisting of weekends spent fishing with his father.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Dr. Maxey became a licensed mortician and embalmer, with a degree from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He continued his education with a pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati. Torn between a career in medicine or law, he applied for graduate school in both fields of study. After trying his hand in both programs, he ultimately chose law school.
Dr. Maxey was the first black assistant Dean of Men at the University of Cincinnati, an honor which helped him pay his tuition. By the age of 30, Dr. Maxey had already acquired a Bachelor of Science, an M.D and a PH.
Dr. Maxey’s interest in practicing law diminished over time, and with that realization, he went on to attend the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. He was the first student to enter and complete their dual M.D/PhD in cardiovascular pharmacology. Dr. Maxey describes his time at Howard University as being “a special experience”. It was the first time in his already accomplished, young career that black professors and instructors surrounded him.
He moved to New York to complete his internship and fellowship at Harlem Hospital Medical Center in conjunction with Columbia University and Kings County Hospital of Brooklyn.
Dr. Maxey moved to Inglewood, California in 1978, pursuing his work as an attending physician in numerous hospitals, including Sinai Medical Center, Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center, and Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital.
During the 1980s he would serve 8 years at Los Angeles’ Charles R Drew University as their Clinical Assistant Professor in Medicine, as well as the Director of Nephrology at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital and Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center.
The early 90s-pointed Dr. Maxey’s interests towards the field of Renal failure where he followed his desire to become a licensed attending Physician in Guam. During this time, he published several notable medical papers on renal failure.
Dr. Maxey’s dedication over the years was not limited to the struggle between medicine and law. After joining the NMA in 1972, it was only a few years before he was elected to their Board of Trustees. His goals with the NMA have been aimed at “eliminating health disparities between underserved Americans and the general population”. He has remained driven and determined to push for quality, accessible healthcare for the underserved Black and Latino minority communities.
Dr. Maxey’s years of awareness in this critical area inspired him to found the Church Health Network in 1990. The Church Health Network’s goal was to help connect the health needs of the disadvantaged to local community churches to provide the most necessary medical resources.
It is Dr. Maxey’s firm belief that African American and Latino populations suffer the greatest from inadequate access to healthcare. He explains that due to allostatic experiences, medically known as the allostatic load, that poor communities suffer an excessive medical burden from traumatizing experiences, often beginning at childhood. The underserved become more susceptible to diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and thus, vulnerability to illness and high-stress levels compromise their immune system. In today’s climate, his message is incredibly helpful in building constructive solutions to systemic problems.
With 2020 bringing the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Maxey has founded a nonprofit organization called TheBlackhealthtrust.org, focused on stopping the spread of misinformation on COVID-19 and other health crises.
TheBlackhealthtrust.org is an educational tool to give communities information from physicians of color, who present academic topics about protecting oneself from COVID-19, providing accurate statistics, up-to-date facts on the pandemic, and lifestyle tips to protect one’s mind and body.
The legacy of Dr. Randall Whitaker Maxey has spanned decades, touching the lives of communities across so many sectors, not only as a doctor, but as a lawyer, activist, and a concerned citizen who seeks out solutions everywhere he turns. He’s proven the example of a life that is never limited, pursuing every degree and honorable position in excellence, while using his remarkable gifts to help others overcome their challenges.
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Brianna Connors & Derek Archer Co-Editors