“People are trying to increase diversity, but it’s slow and we wish it would go faster. It happens from the top down; you have to hire staff that can be active mentors, that students can see.” — Joel Boyd, MD
JOEL BOYD, MD, ADJUNCT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR and orthopedic surgeon, is no stranger to being a pioneer in industries that aren’t necessarily known for diversity: orthopedics and hockey. He was the first African American orthopedic surgery resident at the Cleveland Clinic and the first NHL (National Hockey League) and second NFL (National Football League) team physician of color. “I had a huge support system and I was very close with the three residents in my class,” he recalls. “Don’t get me wrong, you can’t hide. You certainly ran into missteps by people, but you were on to a bigger purpose, and that was more important.”
While Boyd played football throughout college at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, his career as an orthopedist would lead him to caring for players on the ice. He became a certified Olympic team physician in 1995, and began working with both the U.S.A. basketball and hockey teams. Boyd worked his way up to head physician for U.S.A. hockey in 1996 and accompanied them to the 1998 Nagano Olympics in Japan. When the Minnesota Wild became a new franchise in 2000, Boyd was an obvious local choice to care for the players.
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Thank you for your important work, Dr. Boyd!