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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Black Twin Sisters Makes History As First-Generation Doctors in Their Family

Brittani and Brandi Jackson

Nationwide — Meet Drs. Brittani and Brandi Jackson, twin sisters who are both medical doctors working at the same hospital in the Chicagoland area. They are first-generation doctors in their family.

Growing up in Twinsburg, Ohio, the twins always showed interest in science. The two excelled academically in school while enduring racial discrimination as they were usually the only African Americans in their classroom.

Even though both of them graduated salutatorians at Twinsburg High School, it did not initially cross their mind to pursue a career in medicine because they said they had never seen a Black female doctor.

So when they finally saw a Black female doctor, it served as a major source of encouragement for them to attend medical school.

“It’s hard to envision yourself as something you don’t see. But as I got further into medicine, I realized that maybe I could be a visual reminder to someone who looks like me, that they can be anything. At least that’s my hope,” Brittani told the Chicago Crusader.

The twins separated ways for the first time as Brittani went to the University of Michigan Medical School and Brandi went to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

After completing medical school, they came back together at the University of Illinois, where they were both elected as chief residents — Brandi in the Department of Psychiatry and Brittani in the College of Medicine-Family Medicine.

In 2018, they launched a website that aimed to inspiring people of color to pursue a career in medicine. It served as an online community that allows users to submit questions related to health care that will be answered by medical professionals for free.

“For us, it’s not enough to say, ‘we made it.’ We want to help others do it too,” Brandi said. “It’s our way of giving back for the hundreds of people who have helped us on our journey through medicine. We want to pay it forward. We’re hoping to change the face of medicine, together.”