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Alyx Porter, M.D.

February 14, 2023

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff

In honor of Black History Month, we are profiling several Mayo Clinic experts who are focused every day on achieving health equity through their work. Meet Mayo Clinic's Alyx Porter, M.D., a neuro-oncologist and researcher at Mayo Clinic in Arizona who is working to help shape the next generation of physicians.

Alyx Porter, M.D. is part of an interdisciplinary team that treats the most complex and serious cancers of the brain and nervous system. Her research is focused on inclusive cancer care and improving the quality of life and treatment of patients with brain tumors. Dr. Porter says she is only one of three Black women practicing neuro-oncology in the U.S.

"If you look at the latest census data for African Americans, we're at around 13% of the U.S. population, but only 5% of the physician workforce. Hispanic or Latino populations measuring around 18% to 20% — yet only 8% of the workforce. And so there are certain groups that are underrepresented compared to what the demographic looks like," says Dr. Porter.

Video: Alyx Porter, M.D. on shaping the future generation of physicians

Video: Alyx Porter, M.D. on shaping the future generation of physicians

Research has shown that underrepresentation in race and ethnicity among the physician workforce leads to health disparities and less than optimal patient health outcomes. Mayo Clinic is focused on closing that gap.


Dr. Porter leads a nonprofit organization she founded called ElevateMed, along with her husband, Gregory Umphrey, M.D., also a Mayo Clinic physician.

ElevateMed's vision is to inspire and support future generations of physicians from historically underrepresented backgrounds, with scholarships, mentorship, leadership development, and financial wellness education.

"It is personal. This was a gap that we both had in our medical school and early career matriculation. And so really, we’ve aimed to fill that gap with what we wish we'd had," she says.

The next generation of physicians

Ewoma Ogbaudu is an ElevateMeD scholarship recipient. He attends Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. His goal of becoming a doctor stems from his own upbringing in an underserved community.

Medical student Ewoma Ogbaudu working in the lab at Mayo Clinic
Medical student Ewoma Ogbaudu working in the lab at Mayo Clinic

"That really sparked something in me to say, 'Hey, there's so much more that I can do to impact people from communities like where I'm from, and really make a difference in their health and their health outcomes," says Ogbaudu.

Making a difference. It's a commitment inspired by the greatest leaders of the past, present and future.

"I'm hoping that we'll start to see health disparities eradicated and we'll stop seeing differences in survival just based on your race and ethnicity. That's the big dream, that's the big goal. But we have so much work to do before we get there," says Dr. Porter.

This story originally appeared on Mayo Clinic News Network.