Jordan Brooks, MPH

Black History Month feature

History-Maker: Jordan Brooks, MPH
By Cortney Jones, FMA Business Development Manager

According to a 2023 Association of American Medical Colleges report, nearly 10% of graduating medical students in the U.S. earned dual degrees. Jordan Brooks, an MD/JD candidate at the University of Miami, will soon be one of them, and he attributes his success to his passion for the fields of medicine and health policy.

Growing up in the rural city of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Brooks saw firsthand how accessibility to quality care could severely affect health outcomes. He spent time traveling with his parents, who both suffered from chronic diseases, to see specialists. Seeing his parents struggle, he began to understand the issues many Black and rural patients experience within the healthcare system, such as lack of trust and lack of access to good medical care.

After losing his mother, who experienced challenges with a neurological disease, Brooks’ passions were fueled to see changes in the healthcare system, and his quest to earn a medical degree was sparked.

Throughout his academic career, he has studied genetic cancer research, as well as neurosurgical clinical research exploring traumatic brain injuries, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and spinal cord injuries, while pursuing a master of public health degree with a focus in epidemiology.

“This is where I realized how systemic these issues are in rural and urban health disparities, how important policy is to impacting health outcomes, and how businesses have an effect on the commercialization of healthcare and healthcare outcomes,” said Brooks.

Last June, Brooks also lost his father due to an unfortunately undiagnosed cardiac condition, even though he had been receiving regular checkups. Brooks aspires to help build a healthcare system that people like his parents can thrive in.

When asked about the importance of representation in medicine, Brooks stressed how having a physician who looks like you can improve outcomes. “We need to work to address all systemic barriers that affect our ability as a society to produce more Black physicians and healthcare providers,” he said.

This is why completing the MD/JD track is so important to Brooks. After graduating in May, he hopes to eventually run or help manage an integrated medical-legal partnership.

Brooks said that attending Advocacy Day with the FMA Medical Student Section (MSS) in 2023 confirmed his desire to work with the FMA, and he took on the MSS Director of Legislative Affairs position. He hopes to continue his work with organizations like the FMA to help establish policies and business practices that improve healthcare outcomes for all communities.

When he’s not juggling his full schedule, Jordan likes attending concerts, sports events, comedy shows, running, and enjoying the arts. He’s even planning a racial equity town hall with a human rights-based art exhibit for other UM students and the community in March.

“When you’re passionate about something getting done you make time for it,” he said.

Looking towards the future, Brooks already has a job opportunity with a management consulting company lined up after graduation. He also hopes to continue as a board member for two nonprofit organizations in Miami that address health-related social needs in the area.