An OB/GYN helps ensure underrepresented students succeed
By Debby Teich
Photography by Jeffery Salter
Colette K. Brown-Graham, M.D. ’89, M.P.H.
olette K. Brown-Graham, M.D. ’89, M.P.H., is passionate about her work both in and out of the office. At her OB/GYN practice in Wellington, Florida, she provides skilled and compassionate care for her patients. Outside of her clinical work, she partners with community organizations to help empower underserved populations to reach their full potential.
“People often say that they don’t have time,” Dr. Brown-Graham said. “We find time for the things that are important to us.”
Dr. Brown-Graham was 13 years old when her family moved to the United States from Jamaica. After graduating from Duke University, she followed many of her family members into health care and attended the Miller School of Medicine on a full scholarship. Following her third year, she earned an M.P.H. degree from Harvard University. She returned to the Miller School and graduated in 1989.
“UM is a top-notch medical school,” Dr. Brown-Graham said. “It prepared me well for my career.”
She has remained at the forefront of advances in obstetric and gynecologic care and has extensive knowledge in the latest techniques in robotic surgery and operative hysteroscopy.
“I love being a physician, especially an OB/GYN,” Dr. Brown-Graham said. “Many of my patients have become like family, and it is a real joy to be part of their lives.”
Recognizing her good fortune, Dr. Brown-Graham tries to be a role model for disadvantaged students. Her volunteer work includes serving as president of the T. LeRoy Jefferson Medical Society and a board member of the Boys & Girls Club, mentoring students and running health fairs.
“When children see someone who is successful and looks like they do, they are encouraged to dream big,” Dr. Brown-Graham said.
She also donates to the Miller School’s Dr. Astrid Mack Diversity Initiative Fund, which was created to ensure that historically excluded students receive the resources needed to help them succeed in the health sciences.
“When I was a student more than 30 years ago, only 2% of physicians in the county were women of color, and that number is about the same today,” Dr. Brown-Graham said. “We must continue to build a pipeline for people of color to attend medical school.”
Nanette Vega, Ed.D., M.A., assistant professor and assistant dean of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at the Miller School, says that donors like Dr. Brown-Graham are invaluable.
“Our donors are helping to shape the next generation of physicians and making sure they are more representative of our diverse community,” Dr. Vega said.